Come Summer, You May Want to Start Avoiding LBJ Freeway. Like You Don't Already.

Categories: Transportation


Several Friends of Unfair Park have asked in recent weeks: When should they begin avoiding LBJ Freeway, which, of course, is about to become the "LBJ Express"? (To which I replied: What, you don't already avoid LBJ Freeway? I know, right? Hilarious!) One Friend asked in particular because he espied construction crews dropping drill shafts near the I-35/Loop 12 split, which began last week. Another noticed crews relocating some utilities near the Hillcrest exit, which is already causing lane closures along frontage roads. And several Friends have remarked upon the removal of trees up and down the freeway since the beginning of the year.

Lara Kohl at Trinity Infrastructure, which is handling construction on the $2.7-billion redo, says this morning that's really the only work drivers will notice over the next two, three months -- along, she says, with the construction of residential sound barriers that'll go up during the summer. But, once again, she reminds: It's about to get real messy.

"I will tell you, starting this summer the HOV lanes will be going away," she says. "We'll have an announcement on that once we have a date for that closure, and obviously that'll be the first impact the traveling public will see. What we don't know is if it's the lane going away or if the HOV is going away. That'll be the first true sign of construction."

But she insists it won't be till "later this year, early next year when people will see construction really starting to impact their regular travel." She can't be more specific because the time line's not yet locked down; that's about a month off. Nevertheless, once it starts it'll last a good, long while -- till 2016. Kohl says those needing to know more can attend an open house they've scheduled on April 21 from 1 to 8 p.m. at the Dallas Sheraton North. At which point you'll be able to see maps and, matter of fact, the video you see above.

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36 comments
Sanders Kaufman
Sanders Kaufman

635 is only a problem for an hour in the morning and and hour in the afternoon - when the sheeple are being herded to and from their pens. The rest of the time, all day and night, it's a wide-open freeway. So, if you hate LBJ, raise up on your hind legs and bleat, "baaaah".

EastDallas4Life
EastDallas4Life

I like 635 the way it is now. It proves Dallas' embarrassment of Mesquite and Garland and makes it hard for them to infiltrate our city.

OED_Denizen
OED_Denizen

WOW it really looks congested and it isn't even built yet!

Ryly
Ryly

Fascinating.

What I want to know is where the "express" lanes go at the LBJ/Dallas North Tollway intersection. Will they end up going UNDER the existing Tollway lanes? Man, this is going to take forever to complete!

Uppercase Matt
Uppercase Matt

Upper LBJ is going to be AWESOME when it ices over!

Juan Valdez
Juan Valdez

Who was the Urban Planning genius that designed this?Can the Dallas Observer ask them WHY THERE IS NO MASS TRANSIT COMPONENT?Can you ask DTOT? DART? GOD?Doesnt this mess of a project deserve a front page?

Like some people have ironically critized here...this project will determine the future of Dallas. Along with the Triny River corridor and Pegasus.

Daniel
Daniel

That music made me hippa mo tized, and now I quit smoking and remember being abducted by aliens. They performed invasive procedures on my navel!

LakeWWWooder
LakeWWWooder

Natives and Central City dwellers have avoided LBJ for decades. Why would we need to use it? In Lakewood nobody wants to drive more than 2-3 mile or ten minutes anyway. We have everything here in Mayberry.

The last time I used LBJ it made me nostalgic for the late 1970s.

AnythingButRoads.Please.
AnythingButRoads.Please.

Wow. Dallas is officially the concrete city of the 21st century.

Dallas: Ghost town in 2050. mark my words.

Bigjondaniel
Bigjondaniel

This project is like the Hummer H2 of construction. It's the high water mark of all kinds of failed theories of design, relevance, funding, and need.

Jim Bob Guthrie
Jim Bob Guthrie

For $2.7 billion we get three more lanes. Can I have some of my gas taxes back, please?

Juan Valdez
Juan Valdez

Why no MASS TRANSIT component?????With gas expected to be $5+....why why why?

LBJ Express Project
LBJ Express Project

That is an interesting statement. I think most folks who actually use this corridor would disagree with you and see the need to provide a sound solution to the congestion.

Please visit www.lbjexpress.com for more details.

Stacy
Stacy

WTH are u talking about!?!?!?!?! I live off the tollway and 635 and if u seriously think 635 is crowded only for an hr in the morning and afternoon then your smoking something...Do you even live in the area?? Traffic on 635 starts at 6:30am and calms down at 9:30am Afternoon rush hour starts at 3pm and calms down at 7pm.... BTW we are talking about 635 from 75 to 35 ONLY......which Monday thru Friday from 6am to 7pm is NEVER a wide open freeway...

mavsfan2011
mavsfan2011

Have you ever been on LBJ? Rush hour is about 3 hours in the morning and 4 in the afternoon. Unless you're on it from 11 am to 3 pm expect traffic.

LBJ Express Project
LBJ Express Project

During the last snow and ice episode, our portion of this freeway was operating better than most other sections and other corridors in and around Dallas.

Please visit www.lbjexpress.com for more details.

LBJ Express Project
LBJ Express Project

DART and TxDOT agreed to leave access points available for DART to build a future rail tunnel under the LBJ Express. DART and North Central Texas Council of Governments studies have determined that the projected number of riders do not justify a line in the corridor for the next 20 years.

DART Expansion Maps - http://www.dart.org/about/expa...

For more information, please visit www.lbjexpress.com.

Dallas3647
Dallas3647

When I lived in Lakewood I really enjoyed my hour + drives to DFW Airport. Now from Preston Hollow it's 15 miutes on, yes, LBJ.

Montemalone
Montemalone

In the 70's, LBJ was the edge of the universe.

Urbane Planner
Urbane Planner

Ditto for the Frisco exurbians. They have their malls, chain restaurants, multiplexes, and kids sports facilities all in one basket.

I guess LBJ can serve as some sort of demilitarized zone demarcated by 20 ft sound barriers.

LBJ Express Project
LBJ Express Project

When the LBJ Freeway was build in 1969 it was build for a capacity of 170,000 cars a day. Current demand levels estimate (conservatively) that traffic is at around 270,000 cars per day. BY the year 2020, it is estimated that the demand for this corridor will be at 500,000 cars a day. If we do nothing, what would be the result?

LBJ Express Project
LBJ Express Project

Only $496 million in taxpayer funds was used. The rest is all private funding. In addition, the private developer who is operating this project for the next 52 years is assuming the costly maintenance and operations at their own risk. That is the hidden cost of roadways in the state. You have the maintain them in order to keep them functioning properly.

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

We need to increase those gas taxes (haven't been raised in 20 years - thanks GOP) to keep up with demand and avoid more toll roads.

Matt H
Matt H

This is turning 635 into a partial toll so it wasnt paid for by taxes

LBJ Express Project
LBJ Express Project

DART and TxDOT agreed to leave access points available for DART to build a future rail tunnel under the LBJ Express. DART and North Central Texas Council of Governments studies have determined that the projected number of riders do not justify a line in the corridor for the next 20 years.

DART Expansion Maps - http://www.dart.org/about/expa...

For more information, please go to www.lbjexpress.com.

TimCov
TimCov

Because the majority of people in North Texas (leading up through the planning stage of this project) don't use mass transit. Once gas gets above $4 a gallon, we will see how many switch to DART then.

elbueno
elbueno

This is a terrible waste of money that will only add a whole new component of terrible traffic.

If they really wanted to affect traffic along 635, they could have built a rail line connecting the LBJ/Central station to Frankford Station and then eventually extend it to DFW.

EastDallas4Life
EastDallas4Life

Why would you drive to DFW when we have a perfectly good airport in Love Field?

LakeWWWooder
LakeWWWooder

Oh it really only takes 30 minutes from Lakewood if you catch the nightly flights to London...besides Love Field will soon be buzzing over Preston Hollow and it's only 15 minutes from Lakewood.

LBJ Express Project
LBJ Express Project

Correct! Drivers will have a choice between the same number of lanes (4) that they enjoy (or don't enjoy) now or they can take managed lanes which offer a 50 mph rate of speed. If the speed in those lanes drops below 50 mph, the toll is raised to encourage drivers to exit those lanes. That way the developer and region can maintain that 50 mph rate of speed. Inn addition, this project will offer continuous frontage roads that currently do't exit along the entire length of 635.

EastDallas4Life
EastDallas4Life

More tolls that will never be removed once the road is paid for...

TimCov
TimCov

The problem with this idea is that there is not an existing rail line along that path (as far as I know). All of the other DART light rail lines were built along existing rail lines.

It also has the problem of not transporting people to and from downtown. Despite the fact that more and more people do not live and/or work in downtown Dallas, DART continues to insist that everyone must travel there to get where they are going. DART needs more routes that rapidly transport people along the rings around Dallas (Loop 12, 635, Beltline) so that more people will see it as an option. Right now, it is impossible for me and my wife to get to work on time taking DART.

Bigjondaniel
Bigjondaniel

The Dart alignment going East-West follows the Cotton Belt from Plano to DFW, as it should

Montemalone
Montemalone

They could build a subway (we love tunnels), or an "L" down the middle. Imagine cruising along in a DART train looking out the window at miles of cars just sitting there, plus all those wrecks and stalled cars in the exit lanes.

DoubleOJoe
DoubleOJoe

This. Oh my god, this.

The fact that there are no ring routes for light rail makes it almost completely useless for going anywhere but downtown. I love taking the train, and would do so much more regularly if I didn't have to go north/south on every trip. Even a northern loop along the George Bush would be a huge relief.

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