Consultant to present I-35E project

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Lake Cities officials and community residents are invited to a presentation by Denton County's transportation consultant on Tuesday at the Oakmont Country Club to learn about a project that’s expected to expand Interstate 35E.

The presentation, hosted by the Lake Cities Chamber of Commerce, begins at 5:30 p.m. with an informal networking hour, followed by a question-and-answer session with consultant John Polster, of Innovative Transportation Solutions, Inc. The cost to attend the event is $10. The country club is located at 1901 Oakmont Drive in Corinth.

The proposed $4.4 billion I-35E project would rebuild the interstate’s entire 28-mile corridor from Denton to I-635 and provide managed lanes to keep traffic moving at 50 mph, TxDOT officials say.

Because I-35E runs through many of the communities in the Lake Cities area, local officials are preparing for the anticipated changes.

Almost $600 million in funding has been identified, with most coming from $535 million in regional toll revenue funds dedicated to Denton County.

Construction — contingent upon availability of funding — is anticipated to start in 2013.

According to TxDOT, I-35E functions as a major artery for thousands of commuters each day and is a primary link to area colleges and universities including the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University in Denton.

In addition, I-35E functions as an important truck corridor and accommodates more than 12,000 trucks daily, according to 2008 state vehicle counts.

The interstate handles more than 200,000 total vehicles daily near Interstate 635 and 128,000 vehicles a day cross Lewisville Lake. Because of the challenges of crossing Lewisville Lake and the lack of I-35E frontage roads across the lake, viable north-south commuting alternatives to I-35E do not exist, according to a TxDOT news release.

This condition makes it imperative to provide motorists reliable alternatives with a combination of continuous frontage roads and managed lanes in the I-35E corridor.

The Texas Legislature approved an expansion plan for the highway in 2011.

Polster served as vice chairman of the committee appointed to implement that plan.

TxDOT is currently reviewing proposals for the I-35E project in Dallas and Denton counties and final proposals were due this month.

If construction begins in 2013, work could be completed by 2017. Precise timelines for portions that will be reconstructed with new managed lanes are contingent upon funding and future proposals from developer teams.

JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882. His e-mail address is jharden@dentonrc.com .

 

 


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