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Phase One Of I-35E Facelift To Be Done This Summer

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NORTH TEXAS (CBS11) - At 30 miles long, the 35Express Project is one of the largest construction zones in Texas. It spans two counties and nine cities, and according to TxDOT, the work couldn't come at a better time.

"As we've seen growth -- particularly as people have moved to the Denton area -- there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of cars that use the highway every single day." said TxDOT's C.J. Schexnayder.

It's been 60 years since 35-E has had a complete facelift. Now the highway will get all new pavement, additional lanes and a lot more.

"There are about 75 bridges that we are either rebuilding or rehabilitating along this entire corridor," Schexnayder said, adding, "many of the old farm-to-market bridges were still one lane in each direction."

One of the biggest bridge projects is the Lake Lewisville bridge. Crews have built a new bridge that will one day carry all southbound traffic, while the old bridge will be refurbished to carry northbound vehicles. There will also be new frontage lanes along either side.

Then there's the North Texas Boulevard bridge, which is one of the main arteries into and out of The University of North Texas. The overpass is getting a major overhaul, with additional lanes to help ease congestion near the campus.

And in Carrollton, the Beltine Road intersection is all-new, with an elevated roadway that allows drivers to drive over the train tracks, rather than stopping each time a train comes through.

The project also bringing 12 miles of Texpress lanes from 635 up past Lake Lewisville, which will eventually hook into LBJ's system. "So there's more options for the drivers," said Schexnayder. "More ways to accommodate the congestion in peak periods."

And getting onto 35 in Denton will be easier and safer, with longer and wider ramps to give drivers more time to merge. "They're not designed to be dealing with truck traffic that drives at the speeds that we see on this highway," said Schexnayder.

Phase one of the 35Express Project will likely wrap up this summer, with phase two expected to start in five to ten years.


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