CORINTH — A spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Transportation told Corinth City Council members that the Interstate 35E expansion project will help relieve the traffic congestion the area experiences at certain times of the day.
She also told the council that the state will work hard to communicate with the surrounding cities and residents about project details so they can navigate around the construction process as easily as possible.
The 35Express project is scheduled to begin this fall, and public information manager Kimberly Sims said the first phase will rebuild the interstate from U.S. Highway 380 (just north of the I-35E and I-35W exchange) in Denton to Corinth.
Mayor Paul Ruggiere said the city is excited to get the project started, even though the approximately two- to three-year construction process will be necessary but “dreadful.”
The biggest impact commuters will see are lane closures and reductions during construction as the northern section of I-35E is converted from four lanes to six, Sims said.
Many of the questions that the council asked Sims had to do with the impact that construction will have on traffic.
Sims said the traffic flow will be affected and that commuters will probably have to anticipate long drive times.
However, she said that construction crews will work to ensure that traffic is impacted as little as possible.
“This will be a lengthy process, and we want to make sure we’re available to answer any questions anyone may have,” Sims said. “We want to make sure everyone knows what’s coming before it gets here.”
She said she recommends that commuters check the 35Express.org website or Facebook and Twitter for daily traffic updates. The project is divided into three segments — north, middle and south.
However, the project is being constructed in two phases. Phase 1 and Phase 2 construction will include the areas between U.S. 380 and Interstate 635 in Dallas County.
The $4.8 billion project will rebuild the entire 28-mile corridor from Farmers Branch to Denton and includes expanding the Lewisville Lake Bridge.
Approximately $1.4 billion in funding has been identified for Phase 1, which includes State Highway 121 regional toll revenue funds dedicated to Denton County. Phase 2 of the project will occur when additional funding becomes available.
The project will also include what TxDOT officials refer to as managed lanes, which are described as toll lanes. The north section, which includes the Lake Cities and Denton, will not have toll lanes, Sims said.
Some of the early work that’s scheduled to take place includes work on Bonnie Brae Street and drainage work near U.S. Highway 377 and Pennsylvania Drive.
Along with the lane expansions, other changes include rehabilitation and expansion of the bridges at North Texas Boulevard, Mayhill Road, Loop 288, U.S. Highway 77, McCormick Street and Bonnie Brae. And other changes include new bridges at Corinth Parkway and Post Oak Road.
For more information about the project, visit www.35Express.org or contact Sims at 214-483-7778 or Alex Southern at 214-483-7779.
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @JDHarden.