“Sam Rayburn Tollway” Chosen as New Name for 121 Tollway
At its regularly scheduled meeting Monday, March 16, the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) Board of Directors chose “Sam Rayburn Tollway” as the new name for the 121 Tollway.
The Sam Rayburn Tollway was named in honor of the late Congressman from North Texas. For 48 years Rayburn represented Texas’ 4th congressional district serving a 16-county area, which included Collin, Rockwall, Grayson, Fannin and Lamar counties. Known as “Mr. Sam,” Rayburn was the longest-serving speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, serving 17 years in that capacity, between 1940 and 1961.
“Sam Rayburn is an iconic Texan known for his integrity, patriotism and fairness. As speaker and minority leader, Rayburn oversaw the passage of most of the significant legislation of the first half of the twentieth century. Among them was the creation of the Interstate Highway System. So, it is only fitting that his name becomes associated with a critical NTTA project which enhances mobility throughout North Texas. His impact was felt throughout the country, but North Texas was always home,” said NTTA Chairman Paul N. Wageman.
In January, the Board considered three short-listed names: Sam Rayburn Tollway, Interurban Tollway and 121 Tollway. In compliance with the NTTA’s Roadway Naming Policy
, information was sent to the road’s corridor cities and counties to gauge community and regional sentiment of the names. In addition, comment was requested via the NTTA’s eNewsletters to customers and elected officials and via the NTTA Web site.
The NTTA Roadway Naming Policy allows for posthumously naming a roadway after an individual who has made lasting contributions to the region, state or nation.
A ceremony marking the naming of the Sam Rayburn Tollway will be held later this spring. Motorists can expect to see signs bearing the new name to be posted in the next several weeks.