DALLAS — With shovels and scissors, two major highway projects in Tarrant and Dallas counties marked on Nov. 30 beginning and ending milestones on the path to improving the highways for North Texans. Local and state officials broke ground on a major Tarrant County highway project and cut the ribbon on the Southern Gateway project in south Dallas.
Texas Transportation Commission Chairman J. Bruce Bugg Jr., State Rep. Nicole Collier, Tarrant County Judge B. Glen Whitley and many others kicked off the Southeast Connector Project, a $1.6 billion project to rebuild, widen and transform the Interstate 20, Interstate 820 and U.S. 287 interchange in southeast Tarrant County.
The project, which will be complete in 2027, represents the largest investment of Texas Department of Transportation funds on any roadway project in the history of its Fort Worth District.
After that, the ceremonial duties shifted to southern Dallas where Chairman Bugg was joined by Commissioner Robert Vaughn, County Judge Clay Jenkins and others to cut the ribbon on The Southern Gateway project. The five-year, $666 million project rebuilt and widened I-35E from Colorado Boulevard to US 67 and widened US 67 from I-35E to I-20.
This project features non-tolled, reversible managed lanes that help provide a total of seven lanes into or out of downtown Dallas depending on peak travel time demands, which intends to make travel easier and safer drive for commuters.
“TxDOT is leading the way in finding solutions to congestion issues, which is critical especially as Texas’ population continues to increase dramatically,” Bugg said. “The additional traffic demands mean lost time, lost productivity and safety concerns for commuters, travelers and commercial traffic. Improvement projects like these create more efficient and safer routes for drivers and give them back more valuable time that used to be spent in traffic. What’s more, these projects give the Texas economy even more opportunity to continue to grow.”
Both projects are part of TxDOT’s Texas Clear Lanes program, which reduces congestion throughout the state by focusing planning and construction efforts on the Top 100 Most Congested Roads in major metropolitan areas of Dallas, Ft. Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Houston. Thanks to dedicated funding approved by Texas voters in 2014 and 2015, TxDOT has been able to develop and program projects specifically designed to reduce gridlock and improve safety in these large metropolitan areas.
The program has $61.3 billion in projects that have been completed, are under construction or are in planning. More than a dozen projects have been completed statewide, and The Southern Gateway is the fifth North Texas project to be completed. The region has completed $1.2 billion in projects to date, with another $5.1 billion under construction and $3.3 billion in planning.
“The Southern Gateway illustrates how a highway project can help reconnect and enhance communities. Planning for this project began more than a decade ago, and I appreciate the opportunity to have guided TxDOT’s effort to give the community and stakeholders a voice on the final vision that we see today,” said State Sen. Royce West. “This project, which finished on time and on budget, will serve southern Dallas well for decades to come.”
For more information on the Texas Clear Lanes initiative and scheduled projects, visit www.TexasClearLanes.com.
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