Sara Story, NBC 5 Denton Reporter
The I35E expansion project has finally received the "green light" from federal officials and drivers could see some major changes within the coming months.
The I-35 East expansion project has finally received a green light from the Federal Highway Administration and commuters could see changes taking place within the next year.
The highway will be widened from Interstate 635 in Dallas to U.S. Highway 380 in Denton.
Traffic along I-35E is something commuters have learned to deal with.
"There is nothing more confounding than sitting there in traffic and having no other choice, because there is no alternate route or anywhere to go without doubling the mileage," said driver Jason Heckman.
Denton county leaders and state officials have been working on expansion plans for several years.
The final environmental hurdle has been cleared, meaning phase one of the project can move forward.
"This project means an overall improvement to the quality of life to the people traveling I-35 in North Texas," Denton County Commissioner Andy Eads said.
The project is expected to cost $4 billion. The 28-mile stretch of highway will be expanded to eight general-purpose lanes, four managed lanes, and six frontage lanes.
The first phase of the project will cost $1.5 billion, and construction is projected to begin in the summer of 2013.
"You will see a lot of work being done on this project during the first six months of the project," Denton County Transportation Consultant John Polster said.
Drivers are looking forward to the end result; however, some remain apprehensive about the work it will take to get it done.
"Let's just say I'm not going to be driving it," Denton resident Zachary Hayden said.