NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The expansion project for Interstate-35E in Denton has received another ‘green light’.

Washington has given the environmental go-ahead to expand the interstate to 12 lanes, including four toll lanes.

“This environmental clearance is very important,” explained Texas Transportation Commissioner Bill Meadows. “It’s another incremental step toward us being able to address those critical transportation needs in that Interstate-35E corridor.”

Proponents say the expansion is not only a look toward the future but deals with issues that commuters now face everyday.

“That whole corridor from 635 in Dallas County to Denton, to Denton Texas, is over 200,000 cars a day drive that road and that road was designed for less than half that,” said Meadows. “Therefore we have an obligation to really make an effort to try to address that congestion and provide more mobility to citizens.”

Some question whether the project will be obsolete once completed, given the continuing increases in the North Texas population.

“Those are some of the challenges that we face today because we continue to have this accelerating growth rate in a lot of parts of the state, particularly counties like Denton,” Meadows said of the 12-lane project. “So these are going to continue to be challenges and we’re gonna continue to have to find innovative ways to bring financial resources to address these challenges.”

Meadows, who Friday attended the Northeast Tarrant Transportation Summit in Hurst, said they hope to put out requests for construction proposals by Spring.

The goal is to begin construction in the next two years, but that hinges on whether the money will be available for the $3 billion+ plus project