New LBJ Tollway to Open in December
The first managed, or variable, toll lanes in North Texas will open December 14. Phase 1 of the LBJ Express is from east of Preston Road to Greenville Avenue and these toll TEXpress Lanes are also the first of their kind in the country because they have a guaranteed level of service of 50 mph.
Michael Morris, director of transportation for the North Central Texas Council of Governments, says, "You should be able to go 50 mph if you want to any time of day in this corridor, as well as the other TEXPress Lanes we have throughout the region. You decide for yourself what kind of hurry you're in."
For the first six months, there will be a fixed price, depending on the time of day. After the trial period is over, the price will change based on real-time traffic demand to keep the TEXprss Lanes moving at least 50 miles per hour. As traffic levels and demand increase,the price goes up; as traffic volume drops, the price goes down.
The first TEXpress Lanes in Dallas will cost between 15 cents to 95 cents when they open. The pricing depends on the time of day and the direction of travel. Peak travel time is between 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.Eastbound rates are peak: 30 cents to 95 cents; non-peak: 15 cents to 65 cents and westbound rates are peak: 30 cents to 75 cents; non-peak: 15 cents to 45 cents.
Drivers can use any Texas TollTagissued by the North Texas Tollway Authority. Thosethat don’t have TollTags will generally pay 50 percent higher rates to cover invoice and processing costs associated with zip cash. The rate will be cut in half for drivers with more than one occupant in the vehicle, as well as motorcycles.The toll is higher for large trucks or vehicles with trailers.After six months, the preliminary pricing levels will be reviewed and could go higher or lower, depending on traffic demand.
On I-35E, lanes are expected to be ready by the middle of 2014. On I-635, the lanes are mostly below ground and scheduled to be completed in late 2015 or early 2016. Ultimately, these managed toll lanes will be on Interstate 35 from the junction with Loop 12 to Interstate 635 and then Interstate 635 to the junction with Highway 75. When completed, the LBJ Express will dramatically increase the capacity of the current roadway, reduce traffic congestion with 13.3 miles of new TEXpress Lanes and give drivers more control over their daily commute.
“The TEXpress Lanes are Texas' solution to the lack of state and federal transportation funding, because the project brings in private dollars in the form of public/private partnerships,” says David Laney, board chairman of the LBJ Express, a collaborative project of the Texas Department of Transportation and the LBJ Infrastructure Group LLC, comprised of Cintra US, Meridiam Infrastructure and the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System.
Morris says. "If an incident occurs on the freeway lanes, we can move people on to these express lanes." For more information, visit LBJExpress.com or NCTCOG.org.
I am Publisher of Natural Awakenings Dallas Metroplex Edition Magazine. For more information affecting your environment, air quality and quality of life go to www.NADallas.com