Controversial Managed Toll Lanes Now Cover Entire $1.8 Billion LBJ East Expansion Project

GARLAND — Like tens of thousands of daily commuters on Interstate 635, Texas' toll road debate is stuck in a traffic jam.The Regional Transportation Council plans to expand 10.8 miles of I-635 from Central Expressway to Interstate 30, using managed — or toll — lanes to fund half of the $1.8 billion project. Drivers would have the option to choose the managed lane and pay a toll to avoid congestion, as they can now on LBJ Freeway through North Dallas.The tolling component, however, has to be approved by the legislature. Just like it did in 2013 and 2015, the legislature failed to provide such approval when it met earlier this year. State transportation officials say they've been given no other way to pay for a mega project such as the one they call LBJ East. They move forward with plans to include tolled lanes, saying they have no other option.'A billion dollars short'Despite not knowing where the money will come from, representatives of the Texas Department of Transportation, the RTC and the North Texas Tollway Authority and local officials gave an update on the project Thursday at the South Garland Branch Library."There is $832 million in funding identified for this project," Kelly Selman, district engineer for the Texas Department of Transportation told the crowd. "You're a billion dollars short."   Continue reading...

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