North Texas Tollway Authority
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2007)|
|Preceding authority||Texas Turnpike Authority|
|Jurisdiction||Collin, Dallas, Denton, and Tarrant counties, Texas|
|Authority executive||Gerry Carrigan, CEO & Executive Director|
The North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) is an organization that maintains and operates toll roads, bridges and tunnels in the North Texas area. Functioning as a political subdivision of the State of Texas under Chapter 366 of the Transportation Code, the NTTA is empowered to acquire, construct, maintain, repair and operate turnpike projects; to raise capital for construction projects through the issuance of turnpike revenue bonds; and to collect tolls to operate, maintain and pay debt service on those projects.
The NTTA is governed by a nine-member board of directors, two appointed by each of the four counties in its service area, and one appointed by the Texas Governor. It is a non-profit entity. It performs many of the same functions as the Texas Department of Transportation, but is limited solely to facilities that it operates for revenue.
The Authority's mission statement reads: "To provide a fiscally sound system of innovative toll facilities, services and solutions that improves the mobility, quality of life and economy of the North Texas region."
Bridges and tunnels
Planned roadways or expansions
- Chisholm Trail Parkway (formerly Southwest Parkway)
- Dallas North Tollway: northern extension to just north of the Grayson County line
- Trinity Parkway
- State Highway 360 (SH 360): extension from Sublett Road/Camp Wisdom Road to US 287
NTTA was established in 1997 by Senate Bill 370. The legislation abolished the Texas Turnpike Authority (TTA), which had been an independent state agency, and established the Texas Turnpike Authority division of the Texas Department of Transportation. The bill established NTTA and made it the successor agency to TTA, assuming TTA's assets and liabilities. The bill authorized the establishment of other regional tollway authorities and established the laws by which they are governed.
TTA began construction on the state's first toll road, the Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike, in 1955 and opened the road in 1957. Original plans were for the bonds on the Turnpike to be retired in 1995; however, the bonds were retired in 1977 (17 years ahead of schedule) and tolls were then removed from the road, which the next year was officially designated as Interstate-30 (I-30).
Construction began on NTTA's oldest existing toll road, the Dallas North Tollway, in 1966, and its first segment (from I-35E to I-635) was opened in 1968. The Tollway (as it is popularly known) has (along with general Dallas-area growth) expanded continually northward, opening extensions in 1987, 1994, and most recently in 2007.
TTA started construction in 1977 on its first toll bridge, the 2.5-mile (4.0 km) Mountain Creek Lake Bridge, which opened in 1979. The bridge spans Mountain Creek Lake in the southwestern Dallas County city of Grand Prairie.
Construction was started on TTA's only project outside the area, the 2.0-mile (3.2 km) Jesse Jones Memorial Bridge across the Houston Ship Channel, in 1979, with the bridge opening in 1982. TTA sold the bridge to the newly created Harris County Toll Road Authority in 1994, leaving all of TTA's assets in the area in which NTTA was later established.
In August 2010, the NTTA faced criticism by replacing the only minority member of the board—making the nine-member board all white and all male.
A multi-year audit released in October 2011 stated that the NTTA had inappropriate discussions with consultants while they were in the midst of bidding on lucrative Tollway contracts, as well as not having a firmly defined code of corporate ethics.
TollTag is the electronic toll collection system used by the NTTA in the Dallas / Fort Worth metro area. It was North America’s first electronic toll collection system when it was installed on the Dallas North Tollway in 1989. There are currently over 2,000,000 TollTags in operation in the North Texas area. The NTTA offers reduced toll rates for TollTag users at all toll points.
TollTags can be used on all of the roadways of the NTTA, and they can also be used on any other toll road in the state of Texas as well as for some parking lots in downtown Dallas for parking or toll payment at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), and at Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL). Current TollTags are small stickers, similar to those used for state inspections and auto registrations, but cannot be moved between vehicles. The previous TollTag was a hard case tag which was affixed to the windshield using velcro tags; these tags are still valid and can be moved between vehicles, but they are not true portable devices—they must be assigned to one vehicle only and, if moved to a different vehicle, require re-registration on the TollTag account.