One phase of a major ongoing freeway construction project, designed to reduce traffic along the I-35E Lowest Stemmons corridor near downtown Dallas, is now complete: It's an $83 million improvement project on I-35E between I-30 and Oak Lawn Avenue, and the completion was marked with a politician-studded ribbon-cutting on October 25.
The project added new "collector-distributor" lanes, which parallel I-35E and give drivers a safer, easier path to and from Woodall Rodgers Freeway and the Dallas North Tollway.
According to a release, these dedicated lanes eliminate the roadway's previous merging and weaving, a change that will keep traffic flowing on the main lanes and on the new connector ramps.
"This corridor was identified as one of the most congested in the state and has about a quarter million vehicles moving through it daily with an average speed of about 12 miles per hour," says Dallas District Engineer Mo Bur, P.E. in a statement. "We found a solution to construct these dedicated connectors without needing to acquire a square inch of right of way. With traffic routed more efficiently, we expect those average corridor speeds will rise to around 50 miles per hour, making this a win for drivers and for safety."
Seven new bridge spans were constructed next to the north and southbound I-35E main lanes. The project also improves capacity on the frontage roads.
The project is part of the Texas Clear Lanes project across the state, and the first to be finished in the Dallas District.
This initiative targets congested roadways in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston. Funding for the project was approved by Texas voters in 2014 and 2015 for TxDOT to design projects that will reduce gridlock and improve safety in these large metropolitan areas.
Texas Transportation Commission Chairman J. Bruce Bugg Jr. says in a statement that flowing roadways contribute to a flowing economy.
"As Texas continues to grow, so do the traffic demands in key metros across the state with 24 chokepoints identified in Dallas alone," Bugg says. "Congestion is not just about lost time. It’s also about lost productivity. If we can keep traffic moving and get it moving faster, the Texas economy will have even more opportunities to grow. The Texas Clear Lanes effort will continue to find innovative transportation solutions like this $83 million project."
Other Texas Clear Lanes projects in the Dallas metro include:
- I-635 LBJ East – Highway reconstruction and widening; new, continuous frontage roads in the I-635 corridor between I-30 and US 75; improvements to the I-635/I-30 interchange; and improved safety and mobility. Estimated completion in winter 2024. $1.7 billion.
- I-35E/US 67 Southern Gateway – Highway reconstruction and widening; reducing congestion; improving mobility and operational efficiency. Estimated completion in winter 2021. $666 million.
- Irving Interchange – Interchange improvements at Loop 12, SH 114, Spur 482 and SH 183 to reduce congestion and improve mobility and operational efficiency. Estimated completion in spring 2023. $301 million.
- I-30 East – Improvements between Bass Pro Dr. and FM 2642 including additional lanes, bridges and ramp modifications to improve mobility and efficiency. Estimated completion in 2026. $834 million.
For more information, visit www.TexasClearLanes.com.