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August 31, 2012

Interstate 35W is most congested road in Texas, report says - Well ... Duh!

@gdickson

Fort Worth motorists who have complained for years that Interstate 35W north of downtown is THE worst road in Texas have been validated.

A 3.7-mile stretch of the road between 28th Street and North Loop 820 is the most congested road in the state, according to a Texas Department of Transportation report released Friday afternoon.

Motorists waste away about 2 million hours of their lives on the road, according to 100 Most Congested Roads, a study published annually by the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University.

“Results from this annual study validate our approach to moving aggressively with our priority projects in Texas to address congestion and help Texans get to and from work and help them easily and safely move around our great state,” said Phil Wilson, transportation department executive director.

Luckily for commuters, that section of I-35W has been environmentally cleared for expansion by the Federal Highway Administration, state officials also announced Friday afternoon. The transportation department hopes to get expansion of the road under contract by the end of the year, as part of the nearby $2.6 billion North Tarrant Express project.

Existing lanes will be rebuilt, and will remain free lanes, but two managed toll lanes will also be added in each direction for drivers willing to pay a premium for a guaranteed path around congestion. The toll lanes will extend north along I-35W to the Alliance Texas area, and east along Loop 820 and Texas 121/183 toward Dallas Fort Worth Airport.

The North Tarrant Express arrangement was one of the first so-called comprehensive development agreements used by the state to raise money for roads sorely in need of expansion and reconstruction. Under the agreements, also known as CDAs, a developer brings money to the table for a road project and also builds and maintains the road for 52 years, and in return gets to keep the money collected on the managed toll lanes.


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“Results from this annual study validate our approach to moving aggressively with our priority projects in Texas to address congestion and help Texans get to and from work and help them easily and safely move around our great state,” said Phil Wilson, transportation department executive director.

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