DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – If you drive on North Texas roads, you know there is no shortage of construction happening right now.
CBS 11’s Madison Sawyer recently spoke to local transportation agencies including TxDOT Dallas, TxDOT Fort Worth and the NTTA about the progress of road construction projects in the area for an episode of ‘To the Point’.
TxDOT Dallas spokesman, Tony Hertzel, describes five major projects his they are working on in Dallas County impacting commuters on 35E, 635/LBJ, Hwy 183, Hwy 114 and the SM Wright Freeway.
Construction has significantly impacted the drive along 35E just south of Downtown Dallas for the last few years but is expected to wrap up by the Summer of 2022. The work being done is part of the Southern Gateway Project, which is happening near the Dallas Zoo, and costs roughly $660 million.
Hertzel says it adds capacity and replaces aging pavement on both 35E and Hwy 67, in an area where more than 218,000 vehicles travel daily.
“What it’s going to do is add an additional lane in each direction,” Hertzel says. “So we are going from four lanes to five and we will also have reversible non-tolled managed lanes. So when you come into downtown in the morning you will have seven lanes total to use on 35E.”
TxDOT Dallas is also working to reconstruct and widen 635/LBJ between Central Expressway in North Dallas and the I-30 interchange in Mesquite.
It’s a section of roadway, that consistently ranks among the most congested roadways in Texas because it was built to only accommodate 180,000 vehicles per day, but currently sees 230,000 vehicles daily.
Once complete, 635/LBJ will have ten general purpose lanes and two tolled managed lanes. The project started this Spring and is expected to be complete by 2024, with an estimated cost of $1.7 billion.
“The important thing here is it will add continuous frontage roads, which have never been there before,” Hertzel says.
“That helps with the reliability, because we always get incidents on that roadway in the peak travel times and that really bogs down the whole system because there aren’t those frontage roads for traffic to move to.”
There are also major changes coming to the Irving interchange of Hwy 183, Hwy 114, Loop 12, and Spur 482. Some improvements have already been completed, but now TxDOT is working to add lanes to Loop 12, Widen Hwy 114 and add direct connectors to Spur 482.
With an estimated cost of $355 million, it is the single largest traditional construction contract ever awarded in the Dallas TxDOT District.
“The real heavy work and lane closures are going to start next month,” Hertzel says. “This project will take about three years to finish with it being done roughly in early 2024.”
Over the last few years, there have been major improvements to I-45 and US 174 south of Downtown Dallas. Those improvements have decreased commuter demand on the SM Wright Freeway, which is allowing TxDOT to convert SM Wright from a highway into a unique street level parkway.
TxDOT Dallas is also continuing to improve the commute through downtown Dallas along 35E. They are currently working on the Lowest Stemmons Project, which will eliminate the weaving of traffic from Woodall onto 35E and from 35E to the Dallas North Tollway by adding direct connector lanes between the Dallas North Toll Way and Woodall Rogers. TxDOT expects the project will be completed by the summer of 2021.
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