Several Lake Highlands residents including Dallas City Councilman Adam McGough and Public Improvement District (PID) Executive Director Kathy Stewart traveled to Austin Thursday to speak at a public meeting of the Texas Transportation Commission. The commission was considering the expansion of LBJ from I-75 to I-30, including optional tolled express lanes, new access roads and 5 free lanes in each direction. The previously green-lighted project stalled recently when it faced opposition by Texas Senators Bob Hall (R-Edgewood) and Don Huffines (R-Dallas), staunch opponents of toll roads.
The commission listened but postponed a vote, resulting in a further delay in procuring materials and hiring contractors to begin the design and build process. Commissioners gave no timetable for reconsidering the project, and they didn’t indicate whether or not LBJ East, when built, will have optional tolled express lanes, as LBJ West does.
The project had the backing of officials with the North Central Texas Council of Governments, Dallas County and the cities of Dallas, Garland and Mesquite, who had spent years in the planning. Community groups and business leaders in areas surrounding LBJ East had also lobbied for the project as a way to boost economic development and reduce crashes and traffic.
Hall took credit on Twitter for working with Huffines to “end transportation projects that create new toll roads or managed lanes.” He also tweeted that “delaying the project is costing the taxpayers of Texas nearly $5M every month the project is delayed.”