New animation from the company rebuilding LBJ Freeway shows what the roadway will look like in North Dallas when work is completed in five years.
The consortium of companies building what they’re calling “LBJ Express” are counting on 50 years of toll revenue from new managed lanes to pay for the rest of the reconstruction project.
The managed lanes will replace HOV lanes in the middle and charge a variable toll rate depending on traffic volume. Higher traffic in the free lanes will increase the toll rate to keep the managed lane speed going at 50 miles an hour.
“We give the drivers the choice,” said LBJ Express Corporate Affairs Director Andy Rittler. “They have the choice. They can take those free lanes. We don’t guarantee that there’s going to be any faster traffic. But on those managed lanes we are guaranteeing that 50 mile per hour rate of speed.”
Cedar Hill Mayor Rob Franke is the coalition chairman.
“The gas tax rate has not increased in over 20 years so we’re very limited in availability of funds.”
So, Franke said the coalition is lobbying the legislature to allow more private partnership managed lane deals for other freeways that need improvement including Interstate 35E and state Highway 183 Airport Freeway.
“The real key is that grass roots level local politicians, local business people, citizens understand the issue well enough that they can talk to those legislators, help them understand what we’re dealing with, the challenges we face, and encourage them to take action,” said Franke.
Some drivers are not pleased to hear about more tolls as the way to pay for roads. But construction on the LBJ project begins in January with that financing plan and more of the same could be coming.