Antonio Area Freeway System
Northeast Expansion (NEX) Project
last updated November 9, 2018
project is currently being redesigned
to build tolled managed lanes have been dropped. New non-tolled plans
are forthcoming and this page will be updated when those plans are
available. General information about the past and current plans is
is information about the history of previous plans to add
lanes to I-35 and what is currently known about the forthcoming
toll-free expansion plans.
1996, a Major
Investment Study of the I-35 northeast corridor recommended
barrier-separated express lanes, truck lanes, and/or HOV lanes.
However, acute funding shortages in the early 2000s caused this plan to
be shelved. In 2009, the Alamo Area Regional Mobility Authority (ARMA)
resurrected the plan as a secondary phase for a local tollway
Under this plan, the new lanes would be built as tolled managed lanes.
As the plan was further fleshed-out, it was determined that the new
lanes would need to be elevated along most of the route from downtown
to the FM 1103 area. The environmental study for this project was
completed in 2015.
that time, tolling became deprecated both locally and statewide as the
legislature and citizens approved new funding sources for highways. As
a result, the various local planned toll projects were successively
"de-tolled" as new funding sources were identified for them. The I-35
project was changed in June 2018.
What is a managed lane?
is a lane where the operational strategies of the
lane are adjusted in real-time as required to ensure that the lane
free-flowing, thus providing for a guaranteed travel time for users of
the lane. For example, toll rates or vehicle occupancy
requirements may fluctuate based on
conditions or time of day. Typically, managed lanes
toll-free access for buses, carpools, and emergency vehicles while
single-occupancy vehicles (i.e. solo drivers) can use the lane by
paying a variable-rate toll.
is this beneficial? Besides providing a clear way for public
transportation and emergency vehicles, it also gives commuters who want
or need to get where they're going faster an opportunity to
bypass congestion by paying a toll to use any excess capacity
the lane. Every motorist who opts to do so removes one more vehicle
the toll-free lanes which can help ease congestion. The
resulting toll revenue
helps to subsidize for the road, saving scarce tax dollars for other
component removed, TxDOT is now planning to expand I-35 by adding two
general-purpose express lanes plus one HOV lane in each direction. With
this project in particular, the HOV lane is anticipated to also be used
in the future as a dedicated lane for autonomous vehicles.
planned cross-section for most of I-35 NEX project
projections will require the project to be divided into multiple
phases. The first phase will likely run from Loop 410
North to FM 3009 and include elevated connectors at
Loop 1604. It is funded and could start work as early as 2020. The
remaining segments-- from downtown to Loop 410 and from
FM 3009 to FM 1103-- are currently unfunded.
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