If you have driven during the daytime on LBJ since the paving operations last weekend you might have noticed a big difference… smoother drive? traffic is moving?
Now in its 5th and final year of construction, the LBJ Express highway reconstruction project recently reached a major milestone with the opening of all four, new general-purpose main lanes on eastbound and westbound I-635 between I-35E and US 75 (Central Expressway).
In June 2013, we opted to reduce the traffic flow in the construction zone from four main lanes to three in each direction to allow the project team to fast-track the completion of continuous frontage roads and bypass lanes, which were originally slated to open with the completion of the project but opened instead in November 2013.
This decision had significant implications for the driving public in terms of both safety and mobility. By completing the frontage roads and bypass lanes two years earlier than originally planned, we were able to improve incident responses in the corridor as well as enhance access and traffic flow for adjacent businesses and the driving public.
As the massive $2.7 billion LBJ Express project moves towards completion later this year, the recent re-opening of the fourth main lane eastbound and westbound has helped improve movement through the length of the corridor. With summer vacations in full swing, the timing couldn’t be better for opening these lanes.
In the final phases of construction, it will be necessary to implement several series of overnight and weekend closures to lay final pavement along the frontage roads, install overhead signs and prepare the highway corridor for full operations. Drivers are encouraged to check the website, www.lbjexpress.com/laneclosures.asp for updated information on upcoming lane closures and detours.
I know it’s hard to believe but we are nearing completion!!
- LBJ Express on July 6th at 5 p.m. with 3 eastbound lanes
- LBJ Express on July 13th at 5 p.m. with restored capacity of 4 lanes eastbound and westbound, plus shoulders
Labor Day marks the completion of several important milestones for the massive LBJ Express project that will have a noticeable benefit for drivers in the area, including:
- Completion of the new westbound bypass lane over Webb Chapel Road
- Completion of the new westbound bypass lane over Josey Lane
- Opening of an additional eastbound frontage road lane between Josey Lane and Marsh Lane
- Opening of an additional westbound frontage road lane between Midway Road and Josey Lane
“These are important milestones for the LBJ Express project, as we work to engineer new approaches to decades-old traffic problems,” said Heather DeLapp, public relations manager for Trinity Infrastructure, the project’s lead contractor. “Opening up two lanes of continuous frontage road in this area, plus adding several new bypass lanes to help traffic travel easily by avoiding major intersections will dramatically ease congestion in this western section of I-635 and the surrounding cross streets.”
These major openings follow on the heels of several important entrance and exit ramp openings that have occurred over the last few weeks. DeLapp said the project team developed a “mobility initiative” in May to work aggressively through the summer months (which typically experience a decline in traffic volume) on several critical bypass lanes and frontage roads. Labor Day officially marks the completion of the first phase of the mobility initiative.
DeLapp noted there are other milestones on the horizon that will continue to make trips along the LBJ corridor less stressful. The final phase of the mobility initiative will add a westbound bypass lane to Midway Road, an eastbound bypass lane over Webb Chapel Road and Josey Lane by the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Later this fall, when North Texas families gather to feast on turkey and dressing, we hope to add to their sense of thanksgiving,” DeLapp said.
By December 2013, the eight newly-constructed main lanes from just east of Preston Road to Greenville Avenue will be complete, as will the majority of frontage roads within these limits. December will also mark the completion of the first section of new TEXpress managed toll lanes, which will open to the public for testing and tolling analysis.
“The LBJ Express team is working hard to pave the way for better mobility,” said DeLapp. “By the end of the year, we believe drivers, neighbors and surrounding businesses will start to see the light at the end of the tunnel for the final two years of construction.”