On Thursday, TxDOT announced that after 15 years of planning, the state will begin work to expand one of the state’s most congested highways.
TxDOT broke ground on the Interstate 35 east (I-35E) on Thursday near Denton. The project will add more free lanes and “incorporate reversible toll lanes that will have fluctuating prices, depending on the type of vehicle and traffic conditions, but it is anticipate that it will take up to three years to complete,” The Trucker reported.
I-35E has been called the 35Express and is located in one of the state’s fastest growing areas. Portions of the highway rank 33rd and 98th on the TxDOT’s list of 100 most congested roadways. More than 210,000 vehicles travel the span of highway each day.
TxDOT says the expansion will enlarge a 28-mile span of the highway, form US 380 in Denton County to I-635 in Dallas County.
“The 35Express project runs through eight cities in Denton and Dallas counties, including Denton, Corinth, Lake Dallas, Hickory Creek, Highland Village, Lewisville, Carrollton and Farmers Branch. The $4.8 billion project is being constructed in two phases, the first of which will cost approximately $1.4 billion in federal, state and local dollars as well as toll fees collected from SH 121. The second phase will be constructed when funding becomes available,” TxDOT stated.
“This is an exciting time for Denton county residents,” said Denton County Judge Mary Horn. “The I-35E expansion represents the beginning of the one project that links every major roadway in Denton County. Roadways like FM 1171, FM 2181, FM 407, FM 2499 are all being constructed, expanded and/or refurbished as a result of the incredible partnership we’ve had with our federal, state and regional partners. The I-35E project will not only improve mobility within the county, but also within the region as well.”
According to TxDOT:
The first phase of construction is scheduled for later this month and includes the addition of north and southbound general purpose lanes, reversible managed lanes and the expansion, reconditioning or reconstruction of multiple bridges. Phase I construction is expected to be completed by early 2017. Highlights of the project include:
- Construction of a new southbound bridge across Lake Lewisville and the addition of frontage roads and a shared path for pedestrians and cyclists
- Widening of the bridges at Post Oak Road and Corinth Parkway
- Reconstruction of the bridges at Garden Ridge Boulevard and FM 407
- Additional direct connect ramps at the I-35E – Sam Rayburn Tollway interchange
- Reconstruction of the Belt Line Road interchange