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The New LBJ Express Opens Sept. 10

The long wait is over for drivers in Dallas County: the 16.5-mile LBJ Express, a nearly three-billion-dollar highway reconstruction project, will open and be fully operational on Thursday, September 10.

“Over the last four years, the LBJ Express project team has fully rebuilt the corridor, using the most advanced technology, superior and unique design standards, and state-of-the-art pavement – all in record time,” said Heather DeLapp, regional public relations manager for the project.

The project, which began in 2011, encompasses the complete reconstruction of all main lanes and expanded frontage lanes along I-635, as well as the addition of new TEXpress managed lanes along I-635 and direct connectors to new managed lanes along I-35E. The LBJ Express is the first comprehensive development agreement (CDA) project signed in Dallas County.

A unique design-build process, in which the project is being designed and built concurrently, shaved several years from the project schedule. The completed corridor will provide improved mobility by almost doubling the existing roadway capacity. “In a feat of innovative engineering, the majority of the managed lanes were constructed sub-grade in a cantilevered depressed corridor traveling under the main lanes. The project also includes elevated managed lane connections on I-35E that feed directly into the managed lanes on I-635. The project also includes bypass lanes at most of the major intersections along the corridor; new ornate bridge structures and retaining walls and unique lighting are also major components of the rebuilt corridor,” explained DeLapp.

LBJ Express features a combination of four main lanes in each direction, two to three lanes of continuous frontage roads in each direction, and three managed toll lanes (known as TEXpress Lanes) in each direction that will use fluctuating, congestion managed tolling to keep traffic moving at a goal of 50 mph.

The LBJ Express project serves not only as a financial model for other P3 projects, but it also represents an extensive collaborative effort that can be replicated elsewhere in the state and the country. “We were able to deliver this project ahead of schedule because of the cooperation and collaboration of an unprecedented number of entities,” said Robert Hinkle, director of corporate affairs for the LBJ Express and North Tarrant Express projects. “From the very beginning, TxDOT, the cities of Dallas and Farmers Branch, Dallas County, North Central Council of Governments, the local Chambers of Commerce, and the hundreds of contracting businesses and thousands of employees worked together to get the project completed ahead of schedule,” he added.

The TEXpress Lanes along the LBJ Express are part of a much larger network in North Texas that includes SH 114 and the North Tarrant Express, which opened in October of last year. TEXpress Lanes will also be utilized along I-35W, which is currently under construction between downtown Fort Worth and US 287, I-30 in Tarrant County, SH 183 in Dallas and Tarrant Counties and I-35E in Dallas County.

“The ultimate goal is to create a seamless transportation system that allows long-haul travelers along with regional and local commuters the ability to quickly, safely and reliably travel from one side of the DFW metroplex to other or anywhere in between,” said Hinkle. “By providing this new route for through-travelers, we are shifting vehicles off of the main lanes, facilitating greater mobility throughout the length of these corridors.”

For information on the LBJ Express corridor and TEXpress Lanes, please visit www.LBJTEXpress.com. To view the video on how to use the TEXpress lanes, please click here. For a map of the new corridor, including five new exit and entrance ramps, please click here.

A formal ribbon-cutting will officially mark the opening of the LBJ Express on Thursday, September 10.

 

LBJ Express By the Numbers

64                                           Bridge structures rebuilt

200                                         Direct subcontractors

5,760                                     Beams placed

3.5 million                          Dollars spent per day at peak construction

9,000+                                   Safety orientations conducted

564,000+                              Linear feet of concrete barriers placed

678,000+                              Tons of asphalt laid

6 million+                           Cubic yards of dirt moved

17 million                            Man hours worked

Below are some photos taken last week of the project, just a few weeks prior to opening.

Looking east near the new Marsh bridge.

Looking east near the new Marsh bridge.

Looking east, between Dallas North Tollway and Montfort Dr.

Looking east, between Dallas North Tollway and Montfort Dr.

 

From Coit looking east.

Between Hillcrest Rd. and Coit Rd., east end of the project

 

Looking west near Josey Lane.

Looking west near Josey Lane.

 

TEXPress Lanes along I-35E,

TEXPress Lanes along I-35E.

 

At the Dallas North Tollway.

At the Dallas North Tollway.

Looking west from Preston Rd.

Looking west from Preston Rd.

LBJ’s Summer 2015 Progress Video Shows Construction Approaching the Finish Line

 

 

It is hard to believe that the recent aerial footage added in our latest progress video is very close to mirroring the LBJ Flyover video  we produced over two years ago.

We used to often refer to the this digital flyover video as a way to show what the road may look like when finished. Now, we wonder if there is really a need to show it anymore, knowing that each ramp, bypass lane, frontage and main lane along the project are in their final configuration.

Seeing all the bells and whistles being added just adds to the excitement of LBJ being so close to the finish line.

With our final months of construction winding down, our latest production captures the diligent efforts of all the crews that were ever involved in the building of LBJ Express, seeing the significance of every dig, bridge demo, traffic switch, lane closure and detour over the years.

Video includes:

  • Street signs installed at overpass bridges.
  • All four general purpose lanes open in both directions.
  • Final layer of pavement along ramps, frontage roads and main lanes.
  • The future TEXPress Lanes coming together.
  • Traffic usage of bypass lanes adding greater mobility along the corridor.
  • Permanent striping along the project.
  • Large signs
  • LandscapingWe invite you to take a look through our old progress videos and see just how much the project has evolved over the years! Enjoy…
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