Officials Break Ground on TxDOT’S Clear Lanes Project

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DALLAS — Texas Department of Transportation officials and state and local leaders kicked off construction on The Southern Gateway corridor Wednesday, marking the beginning of a four-year effort to rebuild and widen I-35E and US Highway 67 in southern Dallas County. Texas Transportation Commission Chairman J. Bruce Bugg, Jr., was joined at the ceremonial groundbreaking by State Sen. Royce West, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and a host of other county and local officials.

“This project, along with others we’re building across the state, are part of Governor Abbott’s directive to the Transportation Commission to ease traffic jams in our major metropolitan areas,” said Chairman Bugg. “It is the reason the Texas Clear Lanes initiative was created; to tackle congestion and cut commute times using these Texas voter-approved funds for non-tolled transportation solutions.”

“Today is a tangible result of what Texas Clear Lanes is all about,” he said.

The Texas Clear Lanes initiative is designed to address Texas’ most congested highways, using funding from Proposition 1, approved in 2014 by 80 percent of Texas voters, and from Proposition 7, approved by 83 percent of Texas voters in 2015 for non-tolled transportation projects. All Texas Clear Lanes projects are non-tolled.

The $666 million, 11-mile Southern Gateway project includes $260 million in Clear Lanes funding. It includes two segments.

Segment 1 is the I-35E portion of the project which includes full reconstruction and widening to include five general purpose lanes in each direction and two reversible, non-tolled express lanes from Colorado Boulevard to US 67.

Segment 2 includes the US 67 portion that adds a third general purpose lane in each direction from I-35E to I-20. The existing concurrent US 67 HOV lane will be rebuilt to become one reversible, non-tolled express lane in the center median.

The project’s plans date to 2001 when TxDOT and the local stakeholders first met to address the needs to improve the aging corridor. The approved project will extend numerous entrance and exit lanes, reconfigure/ improve ramps and shoulders, and improve bicycle/pedestrian sidewalks and paths. The project, which began in early 2018, is expected to be completed by late 2021. The project contractor is Pegasus Link Constructors, Inc., a joint venture between Balfour Beatty and Fluor, the contractor that built the Horseshoe Project in downtown Dallas.

“Having been involved in this project since its inception well over a decade ago, it’s great to see all the planning and hard work by local and regional transportation officials come to fruition. Because of their efforts, Southern Gateway was ready to go as soon as funding became available,” said State Senator Royce West. “It is noteworthy also that public input was key in the decision for Southern Gateway to be a non-tolled project. The expansion of  the I-35E and US 67 corridor through southern Dallas County will bring much-needed relief to the more than 180,000 drivers who travel to and from Dallas each day from the south,” Senator West said.

The Southern Gateway project is the second Texas Clear Lanes project in Dallas County to start construction since the program began in 2015. The program includes more than 40 projects state-wide designed to improve mobility. The second Texas Clear Lanes project in Dallas County is the Lowest Stemmons Project.

The Lowest Stemmons Project is a 2.3-mile, $79 million project funded from the Texas Clear Lanes initiative. It is designed to ease congestion on I-35E from Interstate I-30 to north of Oak Lawn Avenue. The project will leverage existing funding from the Texas Clear Lanes Initiative to provide interim operational improvements to the congested I-35E corridor. The project will tie in with the recently completed Horseshoe Project to the south.

This project, in conjunction with the Lowest Stemmons project through downtown Dallas, are both desperately needed to ease congestion through our city,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “Together, these projects will address some of the toughest congestion spots in the state.”

For more information about the Southern Gateway Project, or to sign up for notifications, please visit the Southern Gateway website