Project History

First conceived in 1957, the concept of an "Outer Loop" freeway around the Dallas metropolitan area was introduced in 1964 by the Greater Dallas Planning Council's Regional Transportation Highway Plan. In 1964, the Texas Highway Commission authorized this outer loop around Dallas and identified and designated it as a freeway facility to be known as Loop 9 pursuant to a Regional Transportation Highway Plan.

Although never finalized, the Loop 9 Feasibility and Route Alignment Study was authorized by Dallas County in 1995. In 1997, study efforts resulted in a "Technically Preferred Alignment" that was approved and/or adopted by many of the cities and agencies involved in the study. However, study efforts were temporarily suspended before a "Locally Preferred Alignment" was identified.

In May 2002, the Loop 9 Feasibility Study was reinitiated to identify viable corridor alignments and modal alternatives for the study corridor. From 2002 to 2006, alignment and environmental constraints, coupled with the growth and desires of surrounding communities resulted in further alignment revisions to avoid and minimize impacts.

By 2006, a possible connection between the Loop 9 project and other statewide transportation improvements required Loop 9 stakeholders to consider substantial design modifications so that the project would conform to the highest-speed TxDOT roadway design criteria. Between 2006 and 2011, the Texas Department of Transportation prepared the Loop 9 Southeast Preliminary Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), and associated concept designs. While these studies were under review by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), several changes in transportation planning occurred in Texas and within the region. TxDOT changed how they intend to advance large corridor transportation projects and removed the Trans-Texas Corridor from statewide transportation plans. NCTCOG released a new regional demographic forecast which shows that population growth would be slower in the Loop 9 Southeast study area and they published the Regional Outer Loop Feasibility Study Report which did not recommend an outer loop in the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area. These factors contributed to the decision to move the Loop 9 project in a different direction. The DEIS study was put on hold in November 2011 and was officially stopped in January 2012.

In September 2012, a Loop 9 Corridor/Feasibility Study began for the revised Loop 9 project concept from US 67 to I-20 (view map). The Corridor/Feasibility Study incorporates more flexible design standards, a reduced right-of-way (ROW), and a shorter project length. The project would be more closely aligned with the transportation and development needs of the southeast Dallas region.