WASHINGTON, D.C. 3/23/09 - Drivers on two of Texas' busiest highways - the I-635 and the North Tarrant Express in Dallas/Fort Worth - are on their way to a less congested ride now that U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has approved the tolling of new lanes being constructed to relieve congestion in March 2009.
"Investing in infrastructure is vital to the nation's economy," said Secretary LaHood. "Good transportation allows people to get to jobs and businesses to access their customers."
The two projects will give drivers the choice to pay to use the new express lanes and benefit from faster and more reliable travel times. Secretary LaHood added that the projects were the first to receive slots under the Federal Highway Administration's Express Lanes Demonstration Program, which allows tolling to manage congestion or finance the construction of new lanes to reduce traffic. Toll prices will vary according to time of day or level of traffic and are collected electronically.
FHWA's program would allow the I-635 Corridor to add 28 miles of new tolled lanes as part of the Dallas-area highway reconstruction project. The North Tarrant Express could build 36 miles of new tolled lanes as part of improvements to I-820, I-35W and State Highway 183 in and around Fort Worth.
These two North Texas projects join Houston's Katy Freeway and U.S. 290 in using variably priced lanes.