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Updated Tuesday, December 29, 2009 8:38 PM

State Highway 289 opens

Click to enlarge
Grayson County Precinct 4 Commissioner Gene Short starts removing the barracade on SH 289 at FM 996 (now FM 120 west), on Tuesday, offically opening SH 289 for traffic.


State Highway 289 extension opened Tuesday with a light, soft snow falling on construction workers as they moved barricades from the new roadway between Pottsboro and Southmayd.

The SH 289 extension takes the highway from State Highway 56 near Southmayd to Pottsboro and to Lake Texoma. It has been funded as a pass-through toll project with the state of Texas reimbursing Grayson County for the costs beginning after TxDOT accepts the completed project.

There have been changes to names of two roads in the Pottsboro area, which are designed to help motorists navigate the area with less confusion.

Grayson County Commissioner Gene Short, who was on hand to help move the final barricade from SH 289, said that the project has been several years in the making. When state law changed several years ago to allow an alternative method of funding highway construction, the county was able to avail itself of that new system. The county sold $63 million in bonds to pay for construction, and, once TxDOT assumes responsibilities for the highway, the state will reimburse the county. That reimbursement is expected to total $85 million and could be completed in 12 to 16 years, Short said. He said those numbers depend upon the number of vehicles that travel the road each year.

Short said the original concept was, and has remained, to make Grayson County Airport more accessible to the Metroplex. He said he expects it could also help bring in tourist dollars since it will provide easier transportation to Lake Texoma.

Short emphasized that the words for the funding, "pass-through toll road," do not mean it is a toll road requiring a toll tag or stops at toll booths. "Drivers won't be able to tell this road from any other regular highway," he said.

TxDOT Area Engineer David Selman said there are still some final touches to the roadway to be completed before Grayson County turns it over to TxDOT. Selman, Noel Paramanantham, and Kevin Harris, also with TxDOT, inspected the roadway Tuesday morning and determined it was ready for travel.

Selman said that they then began the paperwork and notified Short that the highway could be open for through traffic.

SH 289 will also be named Preston Trail Highway. It goes northward west of Pottsboro until it merges with what has been known as FM 120 North. The road name FM 120 now will be applied west from the Y-intersection where it previously turned northward, and replaces the name FM 996. At the Y-intersection, the short section of road that was called FM 120 North is now called Spur 316, and carries that road name until it merges with SH 289, which goes up through Fink and ends at about Elk's Road where it becomes Preston Bend Road.

Road signs are up or will soon be placed along the roadways to help motorists with these changes. Selman asks that motorists slow down and watch for work crews performing these changes.

Speed limits on SH 289 are designated at 70 mph, daytime, except for the areas which run through the incorporated part of Southmayd, where the speed limit will be 55 mph.

Comments ... 23 found!

1417 and 691 : 1/17/2010
Maybe the workers at the 289 project could finish the project at 1417 and 691. I was told by the job foreman of that intersection, "We could drag this out for as long as we want". TXDOT says they are being fined, but the job foreman says they are not being fined. Who's telling the truth?

Sherman Resident - Davis

ME : 1/4/2010
Yes it is nice to have the new highway. I live in the country and enjoy the option this highway gives us. It's really nice and pretty well designed. Thank you to all who put in the effort to get this done - I can only imagine the hardships that were probably involved. For those that complain of the cost, I'd rather see the money spent here on this highway than on some of the other stupid stuff our taxes are spent on. And who cares if there are a few patches - Have any of you done everything right the first time?

Masonic Man

: 1/4/2010
I would also like to thank TXDot for State Highway 289 extension, and to be honest, I really don't care if the speed limit is 55, 60, or 70. We have a new highway -and a nice-one i may add-, and thats all it matter. Congratulations about being under budget!


: 1/4/2010
I'm sure that some of you have noticed that the speed limit in most of Southmayd has changed to 60mph on Hwy 56. This is due of TxDot making the change, not the city. Maybe jacketland is right about TxDot only making recommendations, but I doubt that any small town is going to go against TxDot recommendations. To do so could be disasterous for such a small town. So, Southmayd does what TxDot says. Thus, TxDot does set the speed limits, even in town.

Masonic Man

Speed Limit : 1/3/2010
The speed does drop straight from 70 to 55. It always has coming from the south into Southmayd. A sheriff deputy told us that the city has an ordinance that 55 is the maximum speed inside the city limits. This must be addressed at their City Council meetings.


Speed Limit : 1/3/2010
I think masonic man misunderstood. TX-DOT makes a recommendation for speed limits. They set it outside of the town limits, BUT the city council must approve and set that limit where it runs through the town. Sounds like Southmayd just followed their recommedation and went with 55. They had to approve something or it would be uninforceable. Does anyone know if it goes from 70 straight to 55 or does it go down to 65 then 55 or something like that. Speed limit can only drop in incriments of 10 mph or less....can't go down 15 mph at once


Too Bad the Sore Heads : 1/3/2010
Too bad the sore heads. It is unfortunate that some people always find a way to see the worst in everything. I made the trip from Preston Peninsula to DFW Airport today and the usual hour and a half trip took just an hour. A trip to Sherman should be reduced by 15 minutes each way and avoid the increasingly heavy traffic on U.S. 75. Unless we want our community to become an economic wasteland from which our children must flee to find jobs capable of sustaining a family, we should rejoice with each new connection to the giant economic engine to our south, the DFW metroplex. Thanks to Gene Short and everyone else who had the vision to play a part in opening a gateway to Dallas from North Central Grayson County---the place I call home.

A Pleased Taxpayer

289 Hwy : 1/1/2010
My Friend Curtis..sorry you didn't get to remain on this project but what a great job you did while there...289 just means growth and sooner or later...a new bridge to Okalahoma for sure....lots of new homes and shopping headed our way again...growth...that is what it is about.

Tax Paying Citizen

worse than kudzu : 1/1/2010
And the tendrils of the Metrosprawl make their first furtive approaches toward the Red for more strip malls in the next 10-20 years.
OK, it's humor- lighten up, folks.....

P.U. Nethgil

Easy for me : 1/1/2010
I own two rental properties in Gunter, the new road will make it easier for me to get to the Sherman Home Depot when I need to fix them.

Mark R

Tx 289 : 1/1/2010
I'll bet in 5 years or less everyone will see the wisdom of the new 289 corridor. In my opinion, 289 will provide easy access to the developing area west of HWY 75 between 1417 and 289 as a residential area. You can see houses going up already taking advantage of the airport, community college, the wildlife refuge, and Lake Texoma.

Phil Schneider

new old rd. : 1/1/2010
I dont understand how we can spend this much money and this new roadway has patches in it before it is even open.I might add that the patches are about as rough as (OLD SOUTHMAID RD. NORTH).If only we had Gene Short.


A boondoggle in the making. : 12/31/2009
When driving east on 635 in North Dallas, how long does it take to get to US 75? Five minutes? How long does it take to get from US 75 west to Perrin Field? Another five minutes? $85,000,000 to save people 10 minutes of drive time??? Come on!!! I'm not saying that Grayson County is "nowhere"...but this reminds me of Alaska's "Bridge to Nowhere". A ton of money spent for the convenience of very small number of people...whose efforts will never generate that amount of money, let alone place it back into the economy from whence it came. Dumb, dumb, dumb.


Good News --- for a Change : 12/31/2009
The new Hwy 289 extension shows that sometimes government does get it right. We should all take pride in this local achievement for which many deserve some credit. And, even though a few may be envious of a good man who won't bend to their pressure, without Commissioner Gene Short's leadership the new Hwy 289 would still be a sleepy country road and a few cow pastures. What other commissioner in modern times has completed such a magnificent project for their precinct? And the county?

Something to Smile About

Hwy 289 : 12/30/2009
I like the speed limit of 55 on the Southmayd part of 289. I shudder to think as I turn off Hwy 56 and merge with traffic that I might encounter a vehicle coming over the overpass traveling 70+ mph.

safety first

Hope it works : 12/30/2009
Tomorrow morning I will try this new road! See I come from Whitesboro down 82 and then I take on 1417 or heritage park or whatever it is being called these days. Somedays it takes me just as long to travel 82 as it does the short section of 1417 to Washington street and that horrible traffic doing 90-nothing at the washington 1417 intersection. Maybee 289 I ment Preston Trail will help me get to WNJ mor efficently!! YEAH!!

Excited about the new road.

55 in Southmayd : 12/30/2009
FYI - The speed limit on Hwy 56 through Southmayd is not set by the city of Southmayd. I attended a city meeting recently and found that the speed limit is actually set by TxDot, not the city. If you're not happy with the speed limits, don't blame the city.

Masonic Man

Once Again : 12/30/2009
Once again Gene Short takes credit for everything, and gives none to where it belongs. All hail the great Gene Short!!! Glad he is not my commish!!!

Go Cowboys

55 mph in Southmayd : 12/30/2009
I think it's obvious to everyone that revenue is the only reason for the inconsistent speed limits on 289 as well as 56 West of town. I'm sure the additional expense to disguise police vehicles is necessary as well. Barney Fife would be proud.

Floyd and Gomer

Speed Limit : 12/30/2009
Once again I see that Southmayde is using the highway system as a financial resourse for the community. Can anyone explain to me the need for the speed limit to be set at 55 through nothing?

Enough of 55

Shortcut : 12/30/2009
I would also like to thank TXDot for my new way to work. I do not have to tackle 691/1417 intersection any longer!!! YEAH!!!!


Mudcat : 12/30/2009
Dear Bill from Southmayd... Thanks for the morning chuckle.. Maybe it will cut my time from Austin to Sherman by way of Ft. Worth.

Hotrod Granny

Shortcut : 12/30/2009
I would like to thak TxDot for this short cut,via 289,and 82, to Walmart. Great job,please help us keep it clean.Thanks, Bill from Southmayd.

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