Highways

by ddankesreiter@dallaschamber.org

The transportation sector is essential to North Texas’ future. The movement of goods and people in an efficient manner ensures the economy remains competitive and economically prosperous. Southern Dallas is home to key elements of the highway infrastructure in the Dallas Region.

  • The confluence of three major interstates (30, 35, and 45), as well as I-20 and many state highways across Southern Dallas County offer distributors efficient routing options for moving products throughout the central part of the U.S. by truck.
  • Carriers can reach up to 93 percent of the U.S. population within 48 hours, while I-35—the USMCA Corridor—provides a direct connection to Canada and Mexico.

The Dallas Region continues to experience tremendous population growth, which places increased demand on the transportation infrastructure. Billions of dollars are being invested to maintain existing infrastructure, prevent congestion, and ensure mobility and safety by relieving chokepoints and expanding critical corridors. Dozens of projects are currently underway, with many more planned for the future.

Southern Gateway

The Southern Gateway project is a $666 million design-build construction project by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), aimed to rebuild and widen Interstate 35E (I-35E) south of downtown, as well as widen U.S. 67 between I-35E and I-20 and the I-35E/U.S. 67 split. The purpose of the 11-mile project is to improve safety issues, provide congestion relief, support traffic operations, address roadway deficiencies and reconnect neighborhoods.

The improvements would also consist of reconstructing reversible non-tolled express lanes, lanes that are open to all users including SOVs (single occupancy vehicles) and HOVs (high occupancy vehicles), and/or general purpose lanes to improve capacity in the corridor. Construction began in early 2018, with an anticipated completion of Summer 2022. For more information visit – https://thesoutherngateway.org/

As part of the project, a new deck park is being built to span I-35E between Ewing and Marsalis Avenues.  The five-acre Southern Gateway Park will reconnect historic Oak Cliff and ignite environmental, economic, and community revitalization. The Park, combined with the ongoing TxDOT project to reconstruct this stretch of highway, is the largest capital project of its kind in the history of Southern Dallas, $47 million of which is dedicated to building the infrastructure to support the park. The design and construction costs for the overlaying deck park are estimated at $35 million. For more information visit – https://southerngatewaypark.org/

ProjectSouthernGateway

S.M. Wright Project

The project transforms the existing S.M. Wright Freeway into a six-lane, street level boulevard with traffic signals. Freeway overpasses will be removed, and the boulevard will include landscaping and sidewalks. The new S.M. Wright Parkway will feature enhanced community gateways to help promote neighborhood identity and local connections, while also helping spur community investment, development and rejuvenation.  Improvements include:

  • The existing S.M. Wright Freeway is being transformed into a six-lane, street level boulevard with traffic signals. Freeway overpasses will be removed and the boulevard will include landscaping and sidewalks.
  • Pedestrian and bicycle improvements, including sidewalks and shared use bicycle lanes, will be constructed along SH 310 to create a continuous network between SH 310, MLK, Al Lipscomb Way and Good Latimer Expressway.
  • Converting the existing freeway-to-freeway connections between I-45 and State Highway 310 (SH 310) to a diamond interchange providing access to two cross-streets: Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (MLK) and Al Lipscomb Way (formerly Grand Avenue).
  • The proposed improvements will extend SH 310 to connect exclusively to Cesar Chavez Boulevard.
  • The existing SH 310 underpass of MLK will be converted to an at-grade, signalized intersection.
  • The existing I-45 frontage roads will be extended to MLK, and the existing ramps connecting MLK and I-45 will be relocated to the proposed signalized intersections of the proposed frontage roads and MLK.
  • A northbound exit ramp to Al Lipscomb Way from I-45 as well as a southbound entrance ramp from Al Lipscomb Way to I-45 will also be constructed.

The S.M. Wright Phase II project is $79 million and is scheduled for completion in fall 2023. For more information visit – https://www.smwrightproject.com/

Loop 9

The proposed Loop 9 project includes construction of a six-lane new location frontage road system between US 67 and IH 35E through Dallas and Ellis counties, Texas. The approximately 9.4-miles system would pass through the communities of Cedar Hill, Midlothian, Ovilla, Glenn Heights, and Red Oak. The proposed project right of way would include a median that would accommodate future construction of an ultimate access-controlled mainlane facility. Construction of the ultimate access-controlled mainlane roadway would be based on projected traffic and funding and would require additional environmental analysis prior to construction. For more information visit https://www.loop9.org/index.html and https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/projects/studies/dallas/loop9.html

other txdot planned or under construction projects

The TXDOT Project Tracker is the gateway to information about more than 11,000 TxDOT projects, providing 24/7-access to the public, employees and elected officials. Below is a snapshot of Southern Dallas County projects. For an interactive version of this map visit –  https://apps3.txdot.gov/apps-cq/project_tracker/

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