New East Stacy Road Construction Now Underway
No, it’s not that part of Stacy Road this time. The long-delayed widening of Stacy Road to four lanes, ultimately six lanes, is now scheduled for completion around Thanksgiving. At least, that is the current projection.
Construction of the far east segment of Stacy Road, however, from Thompson Springs Road north then turning east to the intersection of Orr Road, has now begun in earnest. This section of Stacy Road has always been a fairly dangerous roadway. It is narrow, offers no shoulders only a bar ditch, contains a 90 degree turn and is generally in pretty sad repair. Danger arises due to excessive speed including cement trucks, huge waste-haulers going to and from the landfill on Orr Road in Lucas, and weekend bike riders who compete for space with too many drivers in a hurry to get somewhere. The 90 degree is the epicenter of traffic accidents, again due to excessive speed.
While plans call for widening the roadway somewhat, it will remain only two lanes, replacing asphalt with concrete, and, adding a bike/walking trail on the eastern/southern perimeter of the finished road.
What ultimately will become the dedicated bike/walking trail has been completed and has been turned into a temporary northbound traffic lane as work begins on the resurfacing of the existing roadway. This is what may now make this section of East Stacy Road the most dangerous street in Collin County. Motorists come to this section of roadway and many are confused about where they are to drive. There aren’t any directional signs.
The danger is especially acute at the back gate of Heritage Ranch, the active adult retirement community whose 2,000 or so residents average age 74. The back gate is used constantly by residents who live near it. Now when a motorist exits at that gate and wants to turn left to proceed northbound on Stacy Road they must cross the original two lanes of traffic to get to the temporary northbound lane. The problem is, no one really knows this and drivers are frequently turning left too early and wind up driving the wrong way into southbound traffic. A serious accident is simply waiting to happen.
James Chancellor, Town Engineer of Fairview agrees that signage such as “Wrong Way” and “Do Not Enter” are urgently needed. The management of Heritage Ranch has also been notified that it would be helpful to erect warning signs inside the back gate before motorists venture out into the construction zone. If all else fails, it seems only logical to simply close the gate until construction has been completed.
During construction motorists would be smart to avoid East Stacy Road entirely. If that’s not possible, drivers should observe the only current traffic sign along the construction --- posted speed is 20 MPH.