National Organization Critical Of I-635 East Project

Steven Pickering
July 03, 2018 - 5:50 am
I-635 LBJ Sign

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DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - A plan to expand 635-LBJ through parts of Dallas, Garland and Mesquite is coming under fire from a national group.

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group has named it one of the biggest "highway boondoggles" in the country in a new report.

The group concludes that the project will cost too much while providing little to no relief for traffic congestion. "The LBJ-East expansion plan is what we consider to be a highway boondoggle," said Bay Scoggin with the Texas Public Interest Research Group.  "It's a classic example of spending too much money on something that won't solve our transportation problems."

While some area neighbors pushed their local and state elected officials to approve the project to address traffic concerns, Scoggin does not believe that adding lanes will be effective. "You can't build your way out of congestion," he said. "You look at the Katy Freeway project in Houston - they widened that highway to 26 lanes and that failed to improve congestion."

His group supports spending on other, smaller roadway projects - such as maintenance or repair on existing roads - along with an increased focus on mass transit. "If you build a bunch of roads, people are going to come use them," Scoggin said. "So we have to give them other options to get off the roads and into public transit - whether that be more bus options or better bus routes...or even some of the cool new things that you see around town like bike-share programs."

The LBJ-East project was recently approved by state transportation officials.

The project will include an additional free lane in each direction. Existing toll lanes (HOV/Express Lanes) will remain in place.

A contract for the project is expected to be awarded in 2019, with construction scheduled to run through 2024.