North Texas Daily

I-35E expansion project set for October

I-35E expansion project set for October

I-35E expansion project set for October
October 01
08:11 2013

Andrew Freeman / Staff Writer

Phase one of the 28-mile Interstate 35 East expansion project is set to begin in mid-October, kicking off with a groundbreaking ceremony at 10 a.m. on Thursday in Highland Village, and lasting until early 2017.

The project, led by AGL Constructors, will add a general-purpose lane down I-35E from U.S. 380 to F.M. 2181, along with other projects along the way, such as the reconstruction of several bridges, including the one on North Texas Boulevard.

Phase two of the project is estimated to begin 18 to 36 months after phase one is complete in early 2017, but the timeline is uncertain until funding sources are secured.

“This will allow better transportation between Denton and Dallas,” said Kim Sims, public information manager of AGL Constructors. “It’ll be tough now, but it’ll be a smoother commute when we get through.”

AGL is a joint construction team, composed of Archer Western Contractors, Granite Construction and Lane Construction.

UNT’s commuting students will be one of the groups most largely impacted by the construction.

“I think the construction is a good thing, just not for my commute,” said pre-journalism sophomore Mitchell Jindra, who commutes from Corinth. “Hopefully when all this construction is finished, we’ll see fewer slowdowns as people enter and exit the highway.”

Mark Nelson, director of transportation for the city, said the construction will benefit Denton once completed.

“We’re excited here at the city of Denton,” Nelson said. “It will improve mobility, air quality and the overall quality of life.”

The whole project will cost $4.8 billion total, with the first phase totaling $1.4 billion. The funds are coming from Denton County’s regional toll revenue, bond funding and some state and federal funding as well.

“There will be lane closures and detours, but some construction won’t change anything because we are building to the west side,” Sims said. “This includes the bridge over Lake Lewisville.”

Over Lake Lewisville, a new southbound frontage lane road with a pedestrian path will be added.

Other projects include a bridge at McCormick Street to accommodate a third lane, the reconstruction of the Post Oak Bridge to include two through lanes and two left-hand lanes in each direction and the realignment of the Lillian Miller exit.

“We recognize there’ll be some difficulties during construction,” Nelson said. “But overall it will be better for the citizens and Denton.”

Some students are frustrated that the work will interfere with their daily commute.

“The construction will make traffic terrible for a while,” said engineering sophomore Andy Davis, who commutes from Lake Dallas. “There is already a ton of traffic on 35 and the construction will only make it worse.”

Sims said that as of now there is no estimate of the delays, but she said leaving a half hour early would help commuting students.

“We ask people to be patient as we go through the construction process,” Sims said. “Look ahead so you know what your options are, including taking the DCTA.”

All construction and updates can be seen at 35Express.org and the project even has a Twitter and a Facebook page. The hotline is (214) 483-7777, and there is a public information office open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 2420 South Stemmons Freeway.

The 28 mile I-35 expansion project will cost $4.8 billion, and it will add a new pedestrian lane, multiple bridge renovations, and general improvements. -Graphic by Aidan Barrett / Senior Staff Photographer

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