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Take a look at some of the press releases we've written about the overall North Tarrant Express project and the new TEXpress Lanes.
North Texas – When it comes to new highway projects in Dallas and Tarrant Counties, drivers will have a choice, according to Robert Hinkle, director of Corporate Affairs for NTE Mobility Partners. Hinkle is referring to the new lanes being added to IH 820, SH 121/183 and IH 635. Being built by one of the world’s most experienced and innovative infrastructure developers, NTE Mobility Partners and LBJ Express Infrastructure Group have partnered with the Texas Department of Transportation to offer drivers the expanded mobility. The first segment of LBJ will be opened toward the end of 2013 with both projects being fully completed by 2015.
As in years past, drivers will travel across the north parts of Dallas and Tarrant counties choosing any of several freeway lanes or adjacent access roads. In the coming year upon completion of the first segment, drivers may now use enhanced free lanes and service roads, as well as variable toll lanes, something new to the area and currently available in only a few states across the US.
The variable toll concept allows drivers to use designated lanes at a speed of at least 50 miles per hour regardless of the hour of the day or the potentially slower traffic around them on non‐toll lanes. The cost of tolls for these express lanes will go up or down depending on how heavy traffic is to ensure at least 50 mph at all times.
“We recognize that this concept is new and a little bit difficult to explain,” said Hinkle. “And, as a result, we have decided to hold a contest to involve the community while we begin sharing more detailed information about the new variable express toll lanes built into these existing highway systems.”
For example, during rush hour, when traffic can be very slow on regular lanes, a driver may choose to pay a toll in order to travel 50 mph, getting to his or her destination faster than staying in non‐ toll lanes. However, drivers will always have a choice. They may choose to pay, using the variable toll lanes to move faster, or they may use non‐toll regular highway lanes or expanded frontage roads at no cost.
After much research, Andy Rittler, director of Corporate Affairs for LBJ Infrastructure Group, further explained that developers of similar systems in other states are already seeing benefits.“Drivers, commuters, who choose the express toll lanes are experiencing less stress and a safer driving experience due to less traffic congestion and a consistent, reliable (more predictable) travel‐time each trip.” Such systems are now offered in California with the SR‐91 system, Georgia on Interstate 85 North, and soon to be available in Virginia around the capital on Interstate 495.
North Texans Asked to ‘Express Yourself’
The contest being sponsored by LBJ Express and North Tarrant Express will invite interested participants to help name the lanes that will identify the variable toll lanes throughout the North Texas highway system. The goal is to educate the driving public in a fun and engaging way. Contestants must be 18 or older and live within the 16‐county area represented by the North Central Texas Council of Governments (Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Erath, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Navarro, Palo Pinto, Parker, Rockwall, Somervell, Tarrant and Wise).
Marketing for the contest, which will begin September 24, 2012 and end November 4, 2012, will ask individuals to go online at www.namethelanes.com to give us their ideas of what to call these new lanes. Several winners will be chosen randomly and will enjoy great prizes including free fuel. The grand prize winner will receive a $2,500 gas card.
About the LBJ Express and North Tarrant Express
The $2.7 billion LBJ Express Project represents a team of experienced companies (LBJ Infrastructure Group LLC) that are in the process of rebuilding some 17 miles of I‐635 between Luna Road and Greenville Avenue, as well as I‐35E between Loop 12 and Valwood Parkway. The North Tarrant Express is a $2.5 billion project dedicated to improving mobility along the IH 820 and SH121/183 (Airport Freeway) corridor in Northeast Tarrant County. The project will completely reconstruct and upgrade the existing highway and nearly double the road capacity along the corridor in order to relieve congestion, improve safety and accommodate anticipated future population growth. Construction of the expanded and improved LBJ Express and North Tarrant Express lanes will be completed by late 2015.