By Austin York | @RealAustinYork
For years drivers across north Texas avoided the LBJ freeway due to constant traffic congestion. So when a five-year, $2.7 billion project was announced...most living or working along the corridor braced for the worst.
One nearby resident was concerned about the project back in 2010, "They say five years. Nothing ever runs according to plan, so it's probably going to be 10 years."
But five years later Heather DeLapp with the LBJ Express Project says its 98% done and expects they will be completely finished by December of this year.
"The LBJ Express Project is the largest and most complex construction project in the country. So the fact that we are able to finish this thing in less than five years is phenomenal."
Mitzy McKaslin who manages Southwest Diamond Cutters on Preston and says the last 5 years have been rough. " At one time, they had the whole road closed. We got in and then they closed it, and we couldn't get out."
DeLapp says after speaking with businesses they changed their designs along the way, working on frontage roads first to allow drivers to get to work and home easier.
In addition, the project will include a continuous frontage road in both directions making access to businesses along the roadway easier and offering bypass lanes for drivers to avoid traffic lights at several busy cross streets.
DeLapp says the new roads will be able to handle the 500,000 vehicles a day expected on the freeway by 2020. Also three new TxPress lanes along the most congested parts of 635.
"This project, had we not been able to use that financing model, might not have ever gotten built. So the tolls are a necessary evil in a sense" she says.
DeLapp says the last of the construction is mostly concentrated around the 635 and 35 interchange.
*Video courtesy The_K_Dub on Instagram
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