“Part of progress”: the overhaul of Legacy Drive to transform a key route in Frisco


Part of the Legacy Drive project included the replacement of 40-year-old water pipes and other aged components buried deep under concrete. (Matt Payne / Community Impact Journal)

About 30,200 drivers who travel Legacy Drive daily have at least 12 months of construction left to navigate. Starting in the spring, traffic patterns will change again as construction moves to the west side of the roadway.

From SH 121 to Warren Parkway, Legacy Drive will change from a divided four-lane to six-lane carriageway. The Town of Frisco is spending $ 18.2 million on bonds and funds received from Collin County to rebuild the majority of the four existing tracks.

Since 2016, Frisco has worked to refine the design plans for the project and coordinated with residents as the project took shape. The city is targeting completion in early 2023.

“Legacy is really a major artery as far as a north-south route,” said Jason Brodigan, assistant director of engineering at Frisco. “A lot of people use it. Having six lanes is going to help people get to where they’re going.

“Temporary pain and struggle”

Work on the 1.5-mile stretch of Legacy Drive is not without compromise, said Mayor Jeff Cheney.

Cheney said the project would be a “temporary pain and struggle” for Legacy Drive neighborhoods and residents of Frisco when city council awarded the project contract to McMahon Contracting on June 1.

However, he did mention that many residents were making a living from construction work on Main Street and Eldorado Drive. Ultimately, Cheney said the expansion of Legacy Drive would improve the driving experience in Frisco.

“It’s part of the progress,” Cheney said. “When it is finished, it will really contribute to congestion and the passage of cars. “

Before the start of the project, nearly 16,000 drivers used the northbound lanes daily and just over 14,000 used the southbound lanes.

Brodigan said the construction will help support an already-built area of ​​the city. More left and right turn lanes and a narrower median will allow smoother travel, he said.

“I don’t know if we can really drive a lot more development,” Brodigan said. “What he’s really going to do is adapt to development. “

This existing development needs a suitable infrastructure around it, he said. Part of the Legacy Drive project included the replacement of 40-year-old water pipes and other aged components buried deep under concrete.

“When you want to invest this type of financing in a construction project, you want to make sure you get everything,” Brodigan said.

Due to the scale of the project, the city had to provide for temporary traffic restrictions. Since August, all traffic has moved to the south side of Legacy Drive as three new northbound lanes are constructed.

In spring 2022, all traffic will be switched to the new northbound lanes as work on the new southbound lanes will begin.

“We didn’t have a lot of unexpected issues,” Brodigan said. “The timeline seems to be going well. “

Roadblocks

Business could be better for two recently opened storefronts along Legacy Drive, the owners said.

CBD Modern opened at 1701 Legacy Drive in August, when the first traffic restriction was implemented.

Owner Daniel Cheng said the construction had “significantly” affected his business.

He said he heard from many customers that the build-up of traffic often led them to visit other CBD stores. Although he said some customers have returned whenever the traffic is light, the “bumper-to-bumper” traffic discourages potential customers from stopping inside.

“When signing our lease, we never received any notice for construction,” Cheng said. “Frankly, we wouldn’t have signed our lease if we knew this construction project was going to last until mid-2022.

Cheng also said there had been cases of construction workers parking outside the CBD Modern, which he said was problematic. All the friction that comes with construction, he said, makes it difficult for a new business to gain momentum.

“We are a new company and it is already difficult to try to survive under regular conditions,” said Cheng.

Pet service company Stonebriar Grooming opened in July right next to CBD Modern in the same strip. Owner Brian Voorhees said it’s hard to say how much the Legacy Drive project affected operations.

“I wonder though [about] the number of people who are not passing by our company right now because of choosing to take an alternative route wherever they go, ”said Voorhees.

Voorhees said he was aware of the construction when he opened Stonebriar Grooming. And while the project has its drawbacks, he said he believes it will be worth it in the long run. He said the project would help his business.

“Once the project is completed, we will be able to benefit from it,” said Voorhees. “More drivers means more exposure.”

The final touch

Frisco is working on cosmetic improvements to Legacy Drive in addition to road improvements.

Brodigan said that while the trees in the median and on either side of Legacy Drive provided a popular scenic view, many of them had to be removed. •• “A lot of those trees weren’t going to survive any longer” , did he declare. “They were in poor health and they reached end of life periods.”

Over two dozen healthy trees along Legacy Drive and Town and Country Boulevard have been transplanted to Coyote Park, Boulder Draw Park, Shawnee Nature Area, and Bacchus Park. On April 6, Frisco City Council approved a purchase order for $ 117,265 with Fannin Tree Farm to move them.

The focus was on the future landscaping of Legacy Drive. Several varieties of trees will replace the old ones, according to Brodigan. They include colorful varieties such as Mexican buckeye, cedar elm, and red and living oak. Switchgrass, barbon and soft-leaved yucca plants as well as decorative rocks are also planned.

Landscaping is expected to begin in winter 2022.

Niris Lelle works as a barista at Coley’s Craft Coffee & Wine Bar on Legacy Drive. The Frisco resident for about two years said the trees add to the overall aesthetic of the neighborhood.

Still, Lelle said the visibility of the company was a good consolation. Additionally, Lelle said she lives along Legacy Drive. Her already short ride was not drastically altered because of the project, she said.

“There are both pros and cons about it,” Lelle said. “Unfortunately, the trees have been cut down. Fortunately, when people are driving, they can see the businesses that are here. “

Brodigan said he believes the wait will be well worth the temporary inconvenience of the construction.

“We really appreciate all the patience we have received from our residents, and we would like to ask them to continue like this,” he said. “Another year and a few months, and we’ll be done, and everyone can go back to business as usual. “•