The North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) operates a toll system consisting of about 90 miles of roadway. Facilities include the Dallas North Tollway, the President George Bush Turnpike, the Addison Airport Toll Tunnel, the Mountain Creek Lake Bridge, and the Sam Rayburn Tollway. The authority serves four counties in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. A predecessor agency, the Texas Turnpike Authority, was created by the Texas Legislature in 1953; the NTTA was created by the Legislature in 1997 to take over for the turnpike authority in Collin, Dallas, Denton, and Tarrant counties.
Although the NTTA is a political subdivision of the State of Texas, it does not receive tax money; instead, it issues revenue bonds to pay for its construction projects.
The NTTA broke ground in 2008 on the Sam Rayburn Tollway (formerly known as the 121 Tollway), a 26-mile corridor between two North Texas cities: Lewisville and McKinney. Construction is expected to be completed in early 2012. In August 2009 the NTTA completed the Lewisville Lake Toll Bridge project, a 1.7-mile span that's part of a larger project connecting the Dallas North Tollway and Interstate 35.
The NTTA will become one of the first toll authorities in the US to convert all its existing toll roads to electronic collection only. The switch is planned to be completed by 2011. Digging through the car seats for change to toss into toll bins will no longer be an option for motorists -- they can either buy TollTags (pre-paid wallet-sized transponders mounted inside vehicles' windshields which are identified as drivers pass through; the NTTA pioneered these devices in 1989) or simply drive through toll plazas and an invoice will be mailed to the vehicle's owner (based on license plate information).
Other projects on the NTTA's agenda include Trinity Parkway, a proposed 9-mile bypass around downtown Dallas; Southwest Parkway, which would connect Fort Worth with Cleburne; and an eastern extension of the President George Bush Turnpike from State Highway 78 to Interstate 30.
In May 2009 the NTTA named Allen Clemson as executive director, replacing Jorge Figuredo, who resigned in December 2008. Clemson previously was vice chancellor of the University of North Texas Dallas Campus and an administrator with Dallas County. – less