Sam Rayburn Tollway (Collin-Denton)
History, photos, resources
Looking east at the Dallas North Tollway, 2-March-2009
US Congressman Sam Rayburn (1882-1961) from Bonham, TX
The longest-server speaker of the US House, 1940-1947, 1949-1953, 1955-1961
Named by the North Texas Turnpike Authority on March 16, 2009
First section open
circa 1973 (at DFW Airport)
Interchange at Dallas North Tollway
A short section of the 121 freeway opened in 1973 near the north entrance of DFW Airport. The upgrading of Highway 121 to a freeway and tollway took place mostly in the 2000s, with tollway construction on the northeast section completed in 2009. The conversion of highway 121 to a tollway was one of the most controversial issues in the history of Dallas-Fort Worth freeways. Long planned as a freeway, a long section from west of I-35E to the Dallas North Tollway constructed with gasoline tax funds was converted to a tollway after a large up-front payment from the North Texas Turnpike Authority. TxDOT had tried to sell the freeway to Spanish toll road operator Cintra, and this ignited controversy which eventually resulted in the NTTA control.
History for Texas 121 in Denton and Collin counties will be added in the future.