Interstate 35E in Texas
Interstate 35 East ( I -35E ) is an Interstate Highway in the US state of Texas. I-35E is one of two branches of Interstate 35 in Texas that split into the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. I-35E passes through the eastern half of the metropolitan area and serves the city of Dallas. The road splits at Hillsboro, then passes through downtown Dallas and rejoins the rest of I-35 at Denton. The highway is 156 kilometers long.
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The starting point of I-35E at Hillsboro.
Just north of the town of Hillsboro, I-35 splits into Interstate 35W and Interstate 35E. I-35W follows a shorter route north through Fort Worth. Through traffic to Oklahoma should take I-35W through Fort Worth. I-35E has 2×2 lanes and runs northeast through a rural area of prairies and farms. After about 50 kilometers you reach Waxahachie, a small town just south of Dallas. One crosses the US 287, which comes from Fort Worth and runs to Corsicana. You then pass through rural areas for a while, after which you arrive in the suburb of Lancaster of Dallas. Lancaster is one of the few southern suburbs and has 35,000 inhabitants. West of the highway is the 46,000 resident DeSoto. The highway has a spacious 2×4 lanes from here.
On the south side of Dallas, Interstate 20 crosses through a 4-level stack interchange. I-35E then has 2×3 lanes and passes through the southern neighborhoods of Dallas. Halfway through the route to the center, US 67 merges into the freeway out of Cedar Hill, after which the road becomes a bit busier and has 4+1+4 lanes with a reversible lane. One then passes by the Dallas Zoo and then crosses the Trinity River. The bridge consists of two separate bridges, one with 4 lanes and one with 4+1 lane for the reversible lane. This is followed by the interchange with Interstate 30, the highway to Texarkana. Both roads are then double numbered for less than a kilometer, then I-30 to Fort Worth exits to the west.
The part along the center is then very busy and I-35E has 5 to 6 lanes in each direction. The road runs past Union Station and from the highway you have a view of the Dallas skyline. At the north end of downtown, the Woodall Rodgers Freeway (Spur 366) exits, which handles traffic toward US 75 to McKinney. After this, a short stretch is the second busiest highway of the DFW conurbation with 2×6 lanes. Pretty soon the Dallas North Tollway turns off, starting here and running to the northern suburbs of Plano and Frisco. Although the DNT does catch some traffic, I-35E remains busy and has 2×5 lanes. The highway then runs over a large industrial estate and bends to the northwest. After a kilometer or 3 SH 183. turnsoff, the Airport Freeway that runs to the suburb of Irving, the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Fort Worth. SH 183 again blocks some traffic, and I-35E still has 2×3 lanes.
It stacks between I-35E and the George Bush Turnpike.
The road then heads north, where Loop 12 joins I-35E and the road becomes busier again. There will then be 2×5 lanes with weave lanes running between each turn, plus the I-35E elevated toll lanes on verge viaducts. This is also a large business park. On the border of Dallas and the suburb of Farmers Branch, it interchanges with Interstate 635, the northern Dallas bypass that runs to the north side of the DFW Airport and to Garland and Mesquite east of Dallas. After this, 2×4 lanes and a two -lane interchangeable lane will be available. One then comes across the business parks of Carrollton, where a junction with thePresident George Bush Follows Turnpike, the north east-west turnpike from Irving to Plano. After this, 2×4+2 lanes are still available, and in Lewisville, SH 121 is crossed, the Fort Worth to McKinney toll road.
After that, the highway still has 2×4+2 lanes and once again serves a large business park. One passes through the suburb of Lewisville and the highway then crosses a tributary of the large Lake Lewisville. Shortly afterwards, in Lake Dallas, are connections to the Lewisville Lake Toll Bridge. The highway then narrows to 2×3 lanes and serves the fast-growing city of Denton. On the west side of Denton, I-35E rejoins Interstate 35 toward Oklahoma City.
The section of I-35E from Hillsboro to Dallas is called the RL Thornton Freeway, named after a mayor of Dallas. The portion of I-35E from Dallas to Denton is called the Stemmons Freeway, named after an important businessman in Dallas’ earlier history.
In the 1950s it became clear that Dallas would grow rapidly, especially on the north side towards Denton. So the Stemmons Freeway was designed, a new, wide highway that would run through the undeveloped areas northwest of Dallas. In 1953, the forerunner of the northern section, between Lake Dallas and Denton, opened as a four-lane road. This section was widened to a freeway in about 1961. The first real highway section in the city itself was at Downtown Dallas on August 3, 1959, the opening of which was celebrated in a grand manner. Several years earlier, trails opened south of Lake Lewisville, now in built-up areas, then prairie land. The Stemmons Freeway was completed in 1963. The highway has been constructed directly with 2×5 lanes, and has changed little since opening. The Stemmons Freeway was more modern than many other freeways from the 1950s, but it does show its age. In 1976, a section between I-635 and SH 190 was widened.
The highway is named after Leslie E. Stemmons (1876 – 1939), a Dallas citizen who played a major role in damming the Trinity River in Dallas, which used to flood frequently. The Stemmons Freeway is largely built on the former floodplain of the Trinity River. The highway was officially named the Stemmons Freeway on November 8, 1954, the first highway in Dallas to be named after an individual.
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I-35E Managed Lanes (New LBJ)
See also I-35E elevated toll lanes.
As part of the conversion of the connecting Interstate 635, the I-35E between Loop 12 and I-635 has also been provided with managed lanes (toll lanes) over a length of 4 kilometers. There are 2 toll lanes in each direction, which run elevated on two overpasses in the berm of I-35E. The capacity of this section of I-35E has thus been increased from 10 to 14 lanes. However, the primary goal was to streamline traffic from Loop 12 to I-635, as both highways are part of the ring structure around Dallas. I-35E is thus relieved of this traffic.
RL Thornton Freeway
Study for the route of I-35E south of Downtown Dallas began in the mid-1940s and after much discussion, the route was finally determined in September 1953. Construction of the first section, the bridge over the Trinity River, began at the end of 1955. This stretch opened on May 11, 1959, as the first section of I-35E south of Downtown Dallas. In 1960 the route was cleared for the second extension, including a rather sharp bend. It finally opened on January 31, 1962. In the early 1960s, the section was built further outside of Dallas, replacing US 77. The exact opening dates further south of Lancaster are unknown. The last stretch of I-35E in the Dallas metropolitan area was the middle stretch, south of US 67, which opened on September 21, 1965.stack node. Between 2004 and 2009, I-35E was widened south of I-20.
The highway is named after Robert L. Thornton (1880 – 1964), a former mayor of Dallas and a champion of highway construction in Dallas. Also, the I-30 east of Downtown was named after Thornton, in 1959.
Design of I-35E between both interchanges with I-30.
The interchange between I-30 and I-35E at Downtown Dallas was built between 1958 and 1962 and was originally designed for destination traffic to the center, at the time 80% of the traffic had a destination or origin in the center. In the second half of the 20th century, traffic flows changed significantly, today 80% of traffic on I-30 and I-35E continues downtown, making the interchange configuration outdated. That’s why the nodes have been modified, which is also known as the ‘Dallas Horseshoe Proejct’. I-35E has 286,000 vehicles per day on site north of the interchange. 350,000 vehicles drive through the interchanges every day.
In October 2011, $700 million was allocated to rebuild I-30 and I-35E in downtown Dallas, the so-called Horsehoe Interchange. TxDot had originally named the project Project Pegasus, later the Dallas Horseshoe, which has a smaller scope than the original project.
The project included the following elements
- A new carriageway on the south side of I-30 for traffic heading east, so that the existing carriageway could be converted into a HOV interchange lane.
- A parallel system along the south side of downtown to I-45.
- Rebuilding the interchange so that traffic following I-30 or I-35 could stay in the same lane instead of switching.
- A parallel system along the west side of downtown from I-35E.
- replacement of the existing bridges in connection with the end of the projected life
The new bridges were designed by Calatrava. The project was carried out between 2013 and 2017. Construction included a very large number of flyovers and bridges, and a very wide bridge over the Trinity River from I-30. Several new bridges from I-35E over the Trinity River have also been constructed. The intersection of I-30 and I-35E has since become one of the most complex interchanges in the United States. The historic Houston Street overpass continues on eight different lanes, with 19 lanes on the freeway plus frontage roads and Riverfront Boulevard.
Between 2013 and 2017, the first phase of the I-35Express project was completed. This was a $1.4 billion “interim” solution to widen I-35E between Dallas and Denton. This project only tackled acute congestion, an ‘ultimate’ solution is planned for the longer term.
The project included three segments;
- I-635 – President George Bush Parkway: widened from 2×4 lanes to 4+2+4 lanes, with a switch lane.
- President George Bush Parkway – Corinth: widened from 2×3 lanes to 4+2+4 lanes, with a reversing lane
- Corinth – Denton: widened from 2×2 to 2×3 lanes.
Construction started on October 3, 2013. On May 22, 2017, 29 kilometers of interchangeable lane with two express lanes opened between Swisher Road and I-635. The interim project was officially completed on November 8, 2017.
Widening Hillsboro – Dallas
The southern portion of I-35E has been widened to 2×3 lanes in phases. This initially happened from Dallas to the south. In 2004-2005, the section between I-20 and Parkerville Road in DeSoto was widened to six lanes over 7 kilometers. In 2006-2007 the highway was widened further south to the north side of Waxahachie to 2×3 lanes for 8 kilometers. Subsequently, in 2017-2018, the section between the south side of Waxahachie and Milford was widened to 2×3 lanes over a distance of 30 kilometers. In 2016-2018, the Waxahachie bypass was subsequently widened to 2×3 lanes. Only the southernmost part in Hill County had not been widened. The procedures for this were carried out in 2018.
The portion along Downtown Dallas originally provided 2×6 lane weaving traffic between Spur 366 and the Dallas North Tollway. Traffic from the Dallas North Tollway to I-35E had to cross the frontage road. This section will be equipped with parallel carriageways on viaducts in the outer verge between 2018 and 2021. This project was also called the ‘Lowest Stemmons’. On May 21, 2021, the parallel carriageway to the Dallas North Tollway heading north was opened. On May 29, 2021, the viaduct from north to Spur 366 was inaugurated. The entire project was completed on October 25, 2021.
The Southern Gateway Project extended the interchange south of Downtown Dallas to I-20 in the south of the city. The interchange has two lanes up to US 67 and one lane south of it. The project was originally equipped with toll lanes, but in 2015 it was decided to carry out this project without tolls. The work started in July 2017, although the formal groundbreaking did not follow until February 28, 2018. The works were completed in September 2022. The project cost $666 million.
Hillsboro – Dallas
|Marsalis Boulevard||Commerce Street||4.3 km||11-05-1959|
|Clarendon Drive||Marsalis Boulevard||1.4 km||31-01-1962|
|I-20||Laureland Road||3.7 km||01-10-1964|
|Belt Line Road||I-20||5.7 km||00-00-1964|
|Choose Boulevard||Clarendon Drive||3.4 km||06-07-1965|
|Laureland Road||Choose Boulevard||3.5 km||21-07-1965|
Dallas – Denton
|Corporate Drive||Denton Road||11.9 km||25-04-1955|
|Frankford Road||Denton Road||4.8 km||00-00-1957|
|Valley View Lane||Frankford Road||8.9 km||14-12-1957|
|Commerce Street||Oak Lawn Avenue||2.6 km||03-08-1959|
|Oak Lawn Avenue||Regal Row||7.5 km||05-12-1959|
|Denton Road||I-35 Denton||19.4 km||00-00-1961|
|Regal Row||Valley View Lane||10.6 km||15-08-1963|
I-35E has become a major bottleneck due to the enormous growth of the northern suburban area since the 1980s, and the many work centers located along the highway. This is called the Stemmons Corridor, from downtown Dallas to Lewisville. In particular, the narrow 2×3 lane section between SH 183 and Loop 12 is severely congested. Plans were presented in 2005 to widen I-35E between SH 183 and Loop 12 to 2×4 lanes. However, these plans have not yet been implemented.
I-35E Express Lanes (Dallas – Denton)
The design of I-35E between the President George Bush Turnpike and SH 121.
Between 2013 and 2017, the ‘interim’ project of the I-35Express was carried out, whereby a 29 kilometer long 2-lane interchangeable lane was constructed. The ultimate project will cost a total of $4.8 billion and will include a further widening of I-35E between Dallas and Denton. This widening has already been approved from an environmental point of view in 2011-2012.
The ultimate project includes;
- I-635 – President George Bush Turnpike: 4+2+2+4 lanes
- President George Bush Turnpike – SH 121: 4+3+2+2+3+4 lanes
- SH 121 – Dallas Drive: 4+2+2+4 lanes
- Dallas Drive – I-35W: 3+1+1+3 lanes
- I-35W – US 380: 4+2+2+4 lanes
In addition, there are frontage roads everywhere with 2 to 3 lanes in each direction. The current interchange lane will then be converted into 2 express lanes in each direction and will run across the entire project area from I-635 to US 380 at Denton. The section between the President George Bush Turnpike and SH 121 will be paralleled over a short distance to untangle traffic flows between the two interchanges. Including frontage roads, this section will have 25 lanes.
Expected traffic volumes will increase to 338,000 vehicles north of I-635 and 288,000 vehicles south of the President George Bush Turnpike. Also, 242,000 vehicles are expected on the Lake Lewisville section and 170,000 vehicles along Denton.
The design of I-35E between the President George Bush Turnpike and SH 121.
Phase 2 of the I-35E widening was awarded in July 2021, a 10-kilometer section between I-635 and the President George Bush Turnpike. In contrast to the previous plan with 4 express lanes, initially only the main carriageway will be widened from 2×3 to 2×4 lanes and the frontage road will have an extra lane. However, the project includes a space reservation to expand the number of express lanes from 2 to 4 in the future. The works will be carried out between the end of 2021 and the end of 2025.
For a long time there were plans to build an alternative toll road along the center, the so-called ‘Trinity Parkway’, which would run from US 175 to SH 183. It was to accommodate traffic from both Interstate 45 and I-35E northbound, leaving existing I-35E only for downtown commuter traffic. The construction of the Trinity Parkway has been delayed several times and the project has become less popular and somewhat obsolete following the completion of the Dallas Horseshoe Project in 2017. On August 9, 2017, the Dallas City Council voted not to accept the project. to lay.
In 2015, two contracts were awarded to widen I-35E in the Waxahachie region to 2×3 lanes. A $126 million contract was awarded in August 2015 to widen the section between both sections of US 77 around Waxachie. In September 2015, a $36 million contract was awarded to extend I-35 from FM 566 on the Hill County border to US 77 at Waxahachie. Work began on February 24, 2016.   The widening will include 47 kilometers of I-35E. The first phase of 18 kilometers was completed at the beginning of 2019. The rest of the widening should be completed by the end of 2022.
Tolls must be paid on I-35Express. This is a 21-mile interchangeable track between Loop 12 and Swisher Road that was built as part of two separate projects, ‘LBJ Express’ and ‘I-35Express’. A variable toll charge applies on the interchangeable lane depending on the traffic volume in order to guarantee a good flow.
The data below are intensities after the relevant exit.
|Exit 370||Exit 377||2×2|
|Exit 377||Exit 423||2×3|
|Exit 421||Exit 423||4+1+4||alternating lane|
|Exit 423||Exit 427||5+2+5||exchange lane|
|Exit 427||Exit 428||2×4||Dallas|
|Exit 428||Exit 429||2×5||Dallas|
|Exit 429||Exit 430||2×6||Dallas|
|Exit 430||Exit 433||2×5||Dallas|
|Exit 433||Exit 436||2×3||Dallas|
|Exit 436||Exit 440||5+2+2+5||express lanes on viaducts|
|Exit 440||Exit 448||2×4+2||exchange lane|
|Exit 448||Exit 465||2×3+2||exchange lane|
|Exit 465||Exit 467||2×3||Denton|