Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Texas Transportation Commission members unanimously approved last week the advancement of the long-awaited LBJ East construction project that would add one lane in each direction on the highway between U.S. Highway 75 and I-30, add continuous frontage roads and revamp the toll lanes.

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The 11-mile, $1.6-billion project is estimated to be complete in late 2024 if it stays on track.

“This is in many ways a very exciting milestone for our entire region, our city and certainly the communities of Lake Highlands and Hamilton Park,” Dallas councilman for District 10 Adam McGough told the commission at its meeting. “There are a lot of people that are excited about this project moving forward.”

McGough posted about the victory on Facebook.

Community members have spent more than 20 years lobbying the state to improve this section of I-635. The project is expected to increase road safety, decrease commute times, relieve congestion and accommodate expected growth in the region.

The next step in the project is negotiating the final terms of the design-build contract and capital maintenance agreement with Pegasus Link Constructors, consisting of Fluor Enterprises, Inc. and Balfour Beatty Infrastructure, Inc. Pegasus Link Constructors provided what was determined as the best-value proposal.

Along with negotiations, public hearings will be held about the project.

Construction of LBJ East is expected to begin in August. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for some time in late June, but no specific date has been selected.

LBJ East had been at a standstill until May 2018, when the transportation commission approved a compromised plan that called for the reconstruction of grandfathered toll lanes, one in each direction. Until that point, community activists had called for two toll lanes in each direction. The compromised plan now calls for a 12-lane highway.