More Money Equals Better Roads for Southern Dallas County

Thursday, January 14th, 2016 @ 4:50PM

DALLAS — Today, the Regional Transportation Council gave preliminary approval for $655.54 million in funding for the Southern Gateway Project that will add capacity to I-35E and U.S. Hwy.67, both major transportation arteries that serve Southern Dallas, Duncanville, Cedar Hill DeSoto and Lancaster.

The project will completely rebuild I-35E from Colorado Blvd. to the I-35E/U.S.67 split. When it is complete, there will be five north and southbound lanes and upgrades to the frontage roads. An additional lane will also be added to U.S.67 in both directions from the split to I-20. And as a result of public input, none of the lanes in the Southern Gateway expansion will be tolled. In addition to Southern Gateway, $20 – $100 million was approved to address congestion on Lowest Stemmons Freeway (I-35E North). Part of the funding for both projects comes from TxDOT’s new Congestion Relief Fund initiated by Gov. Greg Abbott. These projects now head to the Texas Transportation Commission for final approval.

Southern Gateway has been on the books for more than a decade. It’s construction was delayed by a lack of funding and because of a staged planning process. With the Horseshoe Project due for completion in 2017, adding capacity to I-35E will not create additional traffic snarls in the downtown I-35/I-30 interchange infamously known as the Mixmaster.

Transportation funding has become a priority issue for the Legislature as Texas continues to grow in native population and with millions relocating to the Lone Star State each year. Over the past two legislative sessions, voters have also approved Proposition 1 (2013) and Proposition 7 (2015) that provides billions in transportation funding to build and rebuild Texas’ roads and bridges. My thanks to fellow legislators, TxDOT and the Regional Transportation Council for moving the needs of Dallas County motorists down the road.

Royce West
Texas Senate

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