The Texas Transportation Commission has selected AGL Constructors, a consortium comprised of Archer Western Contractors, LLC, Granite Construction Co. and The LANE Construction Co., as the developer of a 28-mile corridor of Interstate 35E from Dallas to Denton.
This initial phase of the project will include construction along the entire 28-mile stretch of I-35E, from I-635 north to U.S. 380, but there are three additional phases that could be tackled once funding becomes available to TXDOT.
“Phase 1 begins in mid-2013 and will be complete in 2016,” says TXDOT spokesperson Tony Hartzel. “There is no timetable for the future phase/ultimate buildout. What it is, is there are four levels of add-ons that we’re hoping to do on this project. We have one phase with add-ons of $280 million, and then once all that is done, then there’s one more phase to do the whole build out. That future phase would cost more than $3 billion, but no sources have been identified for that.”
However, these future phases will be constructed as funds become available.
As part of the $1 billion Phase 1 project, the developer will improve existing lanes of the interstate, provide continuous frontage roads and construct new, reversible managed toll lanes to keep traffic moving at 50 mph.
“We are building a mixture of general purpose lanes and two reversible managed lanes in the entire 28-mile corridor. This is not a total reconstruction,” Hartzel says. “We are building two reversible managed lanes primarily in the median of the south and middle portion of the project, and one additional general purpose lane in each direction will be added in the middle and north portion of the project. We are also building a separate bridge over Lake Lewisville as part of this project.”
TXDOT will keep the existing bridge in service, repurposing it for northbound traffic as well as space pedestrians and bicyclists. A new southbound bridge will hold southbound traffic and managed lane traffic.
“The construction cost of that bridge itself is worth about $250 million of the total project,” Hartzel says. “There will also be barrier separated frontage road capacity on both bridges so that it goes back to the reliability factor – if you have an incident, you can still get people onto the frontage road to cross the bridge, even if the main lanes are affected.”
Hartzel says this is the fourth project in north Texas that will have managed lanes in it. The I-35E project will be the last to open in 2016, after the DFW Connector, which is opening in roughly seven months, and both the LBJ Express and North Tarrant Express, which will open in late 2015.