Workers are putting the finishing touches on the LBJ Express Project, now scheduled to be entirely finished and open for drivers on Thursday, Sept. 10.
“It’s fashionably early, that’s what they [drivers] are going to notice about it,” said project safety manager Tommie Callahan. “No more stuck in traffic, no more road rage.”
The final segment is 7.5 miles of managed TEXpress toll lanes, running from Luna Road to east of Preston Road in Dallas.
Perhaps the most impressive feature, once envisioned as a tunnel too costly to build, is a pair of stretches of TEXpress lanes sunken 30 feet below ground and beneath the level of the free lanes of Interstate 635 above.
Open to the sky, the sunken toll lanes run for a total of 5.6 miles – including 3.2 miles between Webb Chapel Road and Welsh Road, and another 2.4 miles between Noel Road and Hillcrest Road.
The LBJ Express Project isn’t sure what to call them, however.
“We started out calling them ‘depressed lanes,'” Robert Hinkel with the LBJ Express Project. “Then once everybody started thinking about that, ‘Well, no, they can’t be depressed lanes, nobody’s depressed about this.'”
The long Labor Day weekend gives drivers a chance to drive along the free lanes and check out the nearly finished project for themselves.
“We encourage people to go out there and drive it, see the new signage, see where the new entries and exits are and figure out how they can best utilize this to their benefit,” Hinkel said.
A ribbon cutting for the entire project, including the sunken lanes, will be held Thursday at 10 a.m.
What do you think the “sunken lanes” on the LBJ Express Project should be called? Leave a comment below with your suggestion or let us know on the NBC 5 Facebook page.
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