Thanks to a $5 billion deal from the Texas DOT's Transportation Commission, transportation projects in the northern part of the state will be getting some sorely needed attention.

The money comes in the form of a comprehensive development agreement with local contractor CIntra Concessiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte. The funding will advance the anticipated completion date of improvements to State Highway 121 to 2011; with traditional gasoline tax revenue, the completion would have been an estimated 25 years later.

In addition, the package will bring North Texas $2.1 billion in concession payments, and $560 million for design and construction of SH 121 in Denton and Collins Counties. The contractor also will pay $700 million in lease payments over the next 49 years and $1.7 billion for operating and maintaining the toll road.