With Austin and North Texas Leaders Seeing Eye-to-eye, LBJ East Has Another Shot at State's ‘to-do' List

State officials are promising a long-awaited go-ahead for the $1.8 billion LBJ East freeway improvements if regional officials agree to build the road without additional tolled lanes in a Thursday meeting.Interstate 635, LBJ Freeway, currently has four free lanes and an HOV/express lane running down the middle in each direction, a "4-1-1-4" format. That would change to "6-1-1-6" with widening to include two more free lanes in each direction between Central Expressway and Mesquite.In addition, the plan being proposed to the Regional Transportation Council at its meeting this week in Arlington stipulates the continuous frontage roads and a rebuilt interchange at Interstate 30 that Dallas, Garland and Mesquite officials have wanted."Based on agreement from the RTC ... the commission and TxDOT are ready to advance," J. Bruce Bugg, chairman of the Texas Transportation Commission, told regional leaders in a letter. The TTC oversees the Texas Department of Transportation.Final approval of the deal later this month at the TTC's monthly meeting in Austin would send the project out for bids. Regional transportation planners believe bids will come in about $200 million under the current cost estimate, making the true cost $1.6 billion.  Continue reading...

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