By Melissa Newton, CBS 11 News

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A heavily traveled highway in North Texas will soon get a much needed expansion.

The Texas Transportation Commission approved a $135 Million grant to improve I-35W through North Fort Worth.

Beginning in the fall of 2011, the Texas Department of Transportation will widen the existing lanes of I-35W between Loop 820 and Highway 287/81 in North Tarrant County. TxDOT will also add four new toll lanes to the interstate in that area.

“For many years our area has been asking for money to make improvements to I35,” said State Senator Wendy Davis, “and you only have to be in Fort Worth for one day to understand why that’s important.”

The improvements have been needed for quite some time, said drivers who travel the congested roadway.

“It’s crowded,” said Fletcher Moody. “I think its a great project, it will help out the highway when its done.”

“It’s pretty much gridlock, said Ulysses Grant, who often takes the service road to avoid the highway, “It’s bad.”

“I will avoid this strip, go down Beach, and hit 820 to completely avoid this section,” said Carolyn Ezell of Fort Worth, “because for whatever reason it magically clogs up and then once you get passed it, your free and clear.”

“I think it will help a lot because that’s where the biggest congestion is. In the morning heading that way, its a parking lot” said Micael Esser pointing south toward downtown.

Construction isn’t slated to begin for another year, with a completion date in 2017, but expansion can’t come soon enough for frustrated motorists.

“Once it’s done it will be great, but it will be painful in the process.” Ezell said.
“It should have been expanded a long time ago.” Grant said.

The commission also approved a 30 million dollar grant to improve I35E in Denton County.

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