Forney Major Thoroughfares Update

Most of the Forney roads when people think of traffic are the highways and Farm to Market (FM) roads. While Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) is responsible for these roads, the county does and can work with them to help bring projects to fruition. In 2013 and 2019, Kaufman County voters approved road bond packages that included funds to help push for projects that include the Forney area and most of the FM roads in and around us. The City of Forney does not control or maintain these roads and have little to no say in their updating or expansion. Road bond packages by the county can help bolster by getting the early stages of projects done quicker and will typically cover up to 15-20% of the total estimated project cost, which entices TXDOT to move sooner on these roads. Ultimately the construction is controlled by TXDOT and they use their algorithms to determine where in their timeline the project will be pushed for funding and start dates. Currently Kaufman county competes with Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Navarro, and Rockwall counties for the Dallas District for projects.

During January 2024, the Commissioners Court were given an update to these projects and below we share updates from both that report and the TXDOT Project Tracker from their respective websites.

US Highway 80:

Currently the first phase or section of Hwy 80 from FM 460 to Lawson Road is under construction. FM 460/Clements Rd is getting a completely new bridge and intersections to match the new bridge through this project. You can see the bridge work on the North and South sides of the highway which are the bridges to make continuous service roads all the way across the river. Once completed the main lanes are expected to be redirected to these service roads and the old main lanes will begin construction to become 3 new lanes in both directions. Once completed the next phases through Sunnyvale, Mesquite, and into Dallas to I-30 will come after. The project for Hwy 80 to Spur 557 is tentatively scheduled to let in February of 2027. Construction companies are typically contracted to begin within 90 days of the letting date.

FM 548 “South” Project:

The most discussed intersection of FM 548 and the railroad was included in the 2019 Kaufman County Road Bond Package. Monies were included in the event that engineering could determine if a grade separation could be done at the railroad either over or under it. Jacobs Engineering was tasked with surveying and coming back to the county with these results. As of the January 2024, neither TXDOT nor Jacobs Engineering have a response to if any grade separation is possible. In previous years both TXDOT and Union Pacific have stated to city officials that there was not enough distance between the tracks and Hwy 80 intersection to meet both TXDOT grade requirements and Union Pacific’s minimum height requirements for going over or under the rail crossing. The project itself is focused on expansion and improvement of FM 548 from Hwy 80 to Interstate 20 (including the portion of FM 740 from FM 548 to I-20). TXDOT Project Tracker has an estimated bidding date of April of 2027, but no estimated let date as of 3/15/2024. The project is slated to have 4 lanes total and sidewalks.

FM 548 North Phase 1:

The first part of the FM North Project going North from Hwy 80 to Windmill Farms Blvd was originally started from the 2013 Kaufman County Road Bond Package. This project is a mixture of 4 to 6 lanes with sidewalks and is currently fully funded ready to move. The Kaufman County report shows it is ready to let beginning October of 2024, but the TXDOT Project Tracker does not have updated let date. Many of the relocations for utilities have begun along this phase.

FM 548 North Phase 2:

The Phase 2 portion of the FM 548 North Project will be from Windmill Farms Blvd to State Highway 205 and will be 4 to 6 lanes in various areas. Current expected let date is for February 2025 for this project.

FM 1641 Project:

The project for FM 1641 from FM 548 to FM 148 is currently working on utility relocation plans and conflict matrixes with various entities. The project is expected 4 lanes with some areas getting 6 lanes. This was started also from the 2013 Road Bond Package by the county. The estimated let date is March 2025 and construction beginning shortly after that as mentioned above.

FM 741 Project:

This project is from Monitor, just past Forney High School, to US Hwy 175 in Crandall. This project was identified and put together by TXDOT and not a road bond package. Expected to have 4 and 6 lane areas throughout, this project is estimated to let in March of 2026. Currently there are 125 properties identified for acquisition called Right of Way (ROW). There are 4 parcels in appraisal, 19 properties in negotiations, 82 properties in ED, and 20 parcels now in possession.

FM 740 & FM 460 Projects:

Started in 2019 from the Road Bond Package and joint effort from Rockwall County, the FM 740 project is still under early stages of study and design right now. New traffic analysis is being conducted and schematics are still being worked on. FM 460 is a part of this project from Hwy 80 to FM 740, and FM 740 is from Pinson/Ranch into Heath. It is expected currently to be 4 lanes total, and at one point a large roundabout for this intersection of 460 & 740 was even considered. When plans are shown at the first public meeting our staff will make an update article. Currently an estimated bid date for December of 2028 is expected by the TXDOT Project Tracker.

Helms Trail Project:

Kaufman County identified and included improvement and expansion for Helms Trail, and included funding as a county project in the 2019 Road Bond Package. Currently finishing design work and creating proposed ROW requirements and mapping. There is no bid or let date by the county as of yet, but expected environmental clearance is for this fall. Typically depending on parcel acquisition timeframe, construction on county projects can begin much quicker as they do not have all the projects and red tape that TXDOT has. Our staff will give an update article as more is known.

TXDOT Project Tracker
Kaufman County Transportation Report Jan 2024

This is an ongoing story and updates will be added as more information is received.