The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will open the TEXpress Lanes (toll managed lanes) on the DFW Connector on Tuesday, April 1st, as a tool for managing congestion. The lanes are on a 4-mile segment of State Highway (SH) 114 from just west of SH 26 to east of International Parkway (DFW Airport).
The TEXpress Lanes run parallel to fully reconstructed main lanes and frontage roads and offer drivers the option to pay a variable toll. The lanes on the DFW Connector will open on April 1stat zero cost for a temporary introductory period. The incentive period will allow the traveling public to try the lanes, while providing TxDOT an opportunity to continue to test tolling equipment.
“With thousands of people expected to converge on the Metroplex next weekend for the NCAA Final Four basketball tournament and Duck Commander 500 NASCAR race, we believe this is the perfect time to open this new system for congestion management,” said James Bass, TxDOT Interim Executive Director. “This innovative corridor will provide a choice for commuters driving through this vital east west route as well as reduce congestion and improve safety.”
Later this spring, the incentive period will change and tolls will be charged along the 4-mile segment. Initially, the single-occupancy passenger vehicle rate will have a range of $0.67 to $1.00 for the entire segment when using a TollTag from the North Texas Tollway Authority, a TxTAG or an EZ-Pass from the Harris County Toll Road Authority. That rate varies depending on the time of day (peak vs. non-peak hours). Rates also will vary further depending on use of a TollTag or other transponder or pay-by-mail, and depending on vehicle occupancy and number of axles on a vehicle. Toll rates will be posted and clearly marked on electronic signs prior to drivers entering the TEXpress Lanes. In the future, tolls will fluctuate according to traffic volume and rate of speed. Electronic sensors throughout the corridor will measure congestion every few minutes and electronically recalibrate the rates. As congestion increases, the toll rate will increase to ensure that a minimum predictable speed of 50 mph is maintained.
Drivers with a valid NTTA TollTag, TxTag or EZ TAG on their passenger vehicle, along with HOV (High-Occupancy Vehicle) status, will receive discounted rates. HOV discounts can be obtained by pre-registering at www.DriveOnTEXpress.com.
The DFW Connector’s TEXpress Lanes will be the second to open in North Texas. These lanes have been developed over the past several years by transportation planners at the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) and TxDOT, along with other industry experts. The first TEXpress Lanes opened on a 3.2-mile segment of the LBJ Express (Interstate 635) in Dallas on Dec. 13, 2013. After the DFW Connector’s opening, the North Tarrant Express (SH 183 and I-820 in Fort Worth) lanes are expected to open at the end of 2014.
Extensive information about the TEXpress Managed Lanes network is available at www.txdot.gov, keyword “texpress lanes” and at www.texpresslanes.com.
The DFW Connector TEXpress Lanes are part of a $1.1 billion project that reached substantial completion at the end of 2013. The project consisted of eight-and-a-half miles of construction across four highways (including SH 114 and SH 121), two interchanges and more than 39 bridges. The DFW Connector not only expanded roadway capacity, but also improved air quality and alleviated congestion in a heavily traveled area of North Texas – all six months ahead of schedule.
For more information see the DFW Connector TEXpress Lanes Project Fact Sheet.