Construction has begun on The Southern Gateway corridor, a four-year road program that will rebuild and widen I-35E and US Highway 67 in southern Dallas County.
For those who detest traffic, the next time you want to be driving south on I-35E will be in 2022.
The project first came into being in 2001, when Texas Department of Transportation and local officials looked at improving the aging corridor. The approved project will extend numerous entrance and exit lanes, reconfigure/ improve ramps and shoulders, and improve bicycle/pedestrian sidewalks and paths.
According to a release from the Texas Department of Transportation, the construction is expected to be completed by late 2021.
The project has two segments:
Segment 1 is the I-35E portion of the project, which includes full reconstruction and widening to include five general purpose lanes in each direction and two reversible, non-tolled express lanes from Colorado Boulevard to US 67.
Segment 2 includes the US 67 portion, which will add a third general purpose lane in each direction from I-35E to I-20. The existing concurrent US 67 HOV lane will be rebuilt to become one reversible, non-tolled express lane in the center median.
The project also includes a deck park that will be built across I-35E. The project is part of an initiative called Texas Clear Lanes, which uses taxpayer funds to try and fix traffic jams in metropolitan areas, rather than turning them into toll roads. The program includes more than 40 projects state-wide.
Texas Clear Lanes uses funding from two propositions approved by Texas voters: Proposition 1, which was approved in 2014, and Proposition 7, approved in 2015 for non-tolled transportation projects. All Texas Clear Lanes projects are non-tolled.
Southern Gateway is a $666-million project that covers 11 miles; it includes $260 million in Clear Lanes funding. The project contractor is Pegasus Link Constructors, Inc., a joint venture between Balfour Beatty and Fluor, the contractor that built the Horseshoe Project in downtown Dallas.
Southern Gateway is the second Texas Clear Lanes project in Dallas County to start construction since the program began in 2015.
The second Texas Clear Lanes project in Dallas County is the Lowest Stemmons Project - a 2.3-mile, $79-million project designed to ease congestion on I-35E from Interstate I-30 to north of Oak Lawn Avenue. It ties in with the Horseshoe Project.