It may finally be a little easier to drive north out of Fort Worth.
The final reconstruction phase of the $1.6 billion North Tarrant Express (NTE) I- 35W project has concluded and the last TEXpress Lanes are now open. NTE Mobility Partners (NTEMP) with North Tarrant Infrastructure (NTI) and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) announced the opening – two months early they note – at a media briefing, on Wednesday, July 18.
The full project corridor from the downtown Interstate 30 interchange north to the US State Highway 287 interchange (Decatur cutoff) spans a total of 10.1 miles. Drivers now have the option to travel along the NTE TEXpress Lanes on I-35W from downtown Fort Worth to North Tarrant Parkway. The newly designed corridor connects to the North Tarrant Express project along I-820 (North Loop) and SH-121/183 (Airport Freeway) adding an additional 13-miles to the NTE TEXpress Lanes in Northeast Tarrant County.
“We have been honored to partner with the state of Texas and the people of North Texas in helping build out a network of express and managed lanes throughout the region to provide congestion relief and faster commutes,” said Alberto Gonzalez, CEO of NTEMP. “We will continue working with TxDOT and the regional transportation planners to enhance the effectiveness of the new highway system in order to positively impact economic development and quality of life.”
Breaking ground in May 2014, the I-35W project used a unique design-build process, in which the project is being designed and built concurrently, shaved several years from the project schedule, according to project officials.
North Tarrant Infrastructure, a joint venture between Ferrovial Agroman and Webber, managed the design and construction.
“We are excited to deliver the project ahead of schedule having utilized more than 810 Texas based companies,” said Miguel Alonso, CEO for NTI, the project contractor. “We are proud of our team of dedicated employees and local subcontractors and look forward to working on more projects in North Texas very soon.”
The opening of I-35W features new ramps and additional connections to and from the general highway lanes and the TEXpress Lanes. Drivers can choose to use the rebuilt general highway, bypass and frontage roads at no charge, or utilize the TEXpress Lanes for a fast, direct and reliable commute, as they travel this portion of Tarrant County.
NTEMP and NTI are working with TxDOT and the Regional Transportation Council of the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NTCOG) to finalize a plan that will continue the progress of I-35W north well into Denton County near Texas Motor Speedway.