Extra lanes will soon be added to a major Allen thoroughfare. City council members voted unanimously on Tuesday, July 14 to approve a contract to design the widening of Alma Drive. Currently, the road varies between four and six lanes. This project will expand Alma Drive to a consistent six-lane road.
“Our staff has consistently seen an increase in traffic and congestion,” said Chris Flanigan, director of engineering for the City of Allen. “If this continues into the future, we expect that Alma Drive will experience undesirable flow within as little as three to five years.”
Considered one of Allen’s “arterial roadways,” Alma Drive has been expected to grow to six lanes since the creation of Allen’s 1977 Thoroughfare Plan. It is already a six-lane road in neighboring Plano and McKinney. Added lanes create a smoother traffic flow, increase traffic capacity, and help drivers avoid lengthy stops at traffic lights.
Because Collin County considers the project “regionally significant,” it will contribute $2.75 million, which is expected to be half the total project cost.
The additional lanes will be added to the center of Alma Drive, requiring no construction along the sides of the street. City staff will work with landscapers and the Parks and Recreation Department to create attractive, enhanced landscaping in newly-narrowed medians.
Construction is expected to begin next summer. The project will likely take a year to 18 months to complete.