State and local elected and appointed officials, the Texas Department of Transportation and AGL Constructors were on hand Wednesday to celebrate a milestone on the 35Express Project-the substantial completion of the new southbound Lewisville Lake Bridge.
The bridge will officially open to southbound traffic by 8 a.m. this Saturday, Sept. 10, and by the end of the following week, will carry both north- and southbound traffic while the original bridge is reconfigured to carry northbound traffic only.
“There are few places on I-35E that are a worse bottleneck to our mobility and our economic vitality than the bridge over Lewisville Lake,” said Denton County Judge Mary Horn.
“With the opening of the southbound bridge that will include frontage roads, we are one step closer to reducing that congestion and increasing the economic potential throughout the county. But there is still more to do and I believe the partnerships we’ve developed will ensure they get done in a timely manner.”
Under construction since 2013, the bridge stands approximately 564 feet above mean sea level and includes images of local wildlife and lake recreational scenes on the concrete walls supporting the structure that were funded by the City of Lewisville.
When the project is finished in mid-2017, the new southbound bridge will include a pedestrian/bike path, two frontage road lanes, four general purpose lanes and two reversible managed toll lanes (TEXpress Lanes).
Once the original bridge is reconfigured, it will include an eight foot pedestrian/bike path, two frontage road lanes and four general purpose lanes. The pedestrian/bike paths of both bridges will connect to existing and proposed trails between Lewisville and Denton.
In addition to constructing a new southbound bridge, improvements will be made to four parks near the lake-Copperas Branch, Copperas Branch East, Highland Lakes and Arrowhead Park. Amenities will differ at each park, but include new parking, trails, trailheads and play equipment.
“The opening of this bridge symbolizes more than a relief to the congestion motorists experience every day. It is a symbol of the enormous challenges that had to be overcome in order to make this project a reality,” explains Denton County Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell. “It required partnerships at every level of government. It required funding from every level of government. And it required the use of different financial mechanisms from County bonds to TIFIA loans to the use of managed lanes. Each contributing to the success of this project.”
TxDOT and AGL Constructors work with several agencies and municipalities to advance the 35Express Project, including Denton and Dallas counties; the cities of Dallas, Farmers Branch, Carrollton, Lewisville, Highland Village, Hickory Creek, Lake Dallas, Corinth and Denton; the United States Army Corps of Engineers; the Federal Highway Administration; North Central Texas Council of Governments; DART, DCTA, and the North Texas Tollway Authority.
“Relationships with TxDOT and those who live and work here have made this project possible,” said Texas Department of Transportation Chief Engineer Bill Hale. “The hard work seen on the 35Express project will long stand as an example of how TxDOT and its partners work together to mitigate congestion in such a dynamic economy and fast-growing region.”
35Express construction is managed by AGL Constructors, a joint venture between Archer Western Contractors L.L.C., Granite Construction Incorporated and The Lane Construction Corporation, for the Texas Department of Transportation.
Construction is expected to be substantially complete by mid-2017. For more information on the 35Express Project or to get information about upcoming lane and road closures, visit www.35Express.org, Facebook/I35Express, Twitter/35Express or call 214-483-7780.