TxDOT To Remove $1.3 Billion

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LBJ East Project Gets Green Light To Move Forward

May 11, 2018 - 8:22 am

DALLAS (KRLD) - Plans to widen 635-LBJ in east Dallas, Garland and Mesquite have been approved by regional transportation officials. The plans do not include any new managed toll lanes.

The North Central Texas Council of Governments had originally proposed a plan to add two new managed lanes on a 10-mile stretch of the highway between 75-Central Expressway and Mesquite. But officials at the Texas Transportation Commission and some others in Austin had objected to the idea of more toll lanes, and had notified officials with the NCTCOG that new toll lanes could affect the availability of state funding.

"While we have the authority to be planning these projects and deciding what's in the best interest of our community on how these projects are prioritized and laid out...in the end, he (Texas Transportation Commission Chairman Bruce Bugg) reminded us the Commission holds the checkbook," said Dallas City Council Member Lee Kleinman.

Some residents in east Dallas, Mesquite and Garland had pushed for additional managed toll lanes as way to pay for accelerated construction on the project - and to relieve traffic congestion in the area.

"It may not be the project that we have had consensus around, but here we are," said Dallas City Council Member Adam McGough. "I believe this decision, politically, is the right thing to do. But this has never been about politics. This is a transportation project. We want people moving through this corridor as safely and effectively as we can."

That portion of 635-LBJ does have one HOV/managed toll lane in each direction that will be allowed to remain. The new plans call for adding two free lanes in each direction between 75-Central and Mesquite.

The Texas Transportation Commission is expected to approve the NCTCOG proposal at a meeting later this month. The project could be put out for bids after that. It's expected to cost between $1.6 and $1.8 billion.