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ARLINGTON – After years of arm-twisting over the sale of the State Highway 121 toll road, the payoff is finally here.
And while nobody got exactly what they wanted, forgive Denton County for smiling a little more than its neighbor to the east.
On Thursday, the Regional Transportation Council approved the division of the roughly $3 billion payout from the sale of the toll road to surrounding counties.
The decision came despite the grumbling of leaders in Collin County, who said the divisions will shortchange their county out of millions.
At stake is billions of dollars that will be generated almost immediately under the state's deal to sell tolling rights on Highway 121.
Earlier this year, the North Texas Tollway Authority agreed to pay the state $2.5 billion up front and $833 million in additional revenue for the right to collect tolls on the road for the next 50 years.
The council, a 40-member panel of local officials that sets transportation policy, was tasked with dividing that payout among area counties.
Under the plan, the majority of the money was set aside for Denton County, which will receive $1.56 billion, and Collin County, which will get $1.18 billion. The proposal was based in large part on estimates of how many vehicles will use the highway in each county in the future.
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