Fort Worth

After years of traffic headaches, how soon will all of Interstate 35W be open?

If you’ve been waiting for the last few miles of toll lanes to be completed along Interstate 35W, the wait will soon be over.

Officials say the remaining stretch of the I-35W rebuild project, known as the North Tarrant Express, should be completed well ahead of the Sept. 30 deadline for the project to be substantially complete.

That includes opening nearly three miles of new toll lanes from Northside Drive to near downtown Fort Worth.

“We’ll be sharing some exciting news soon,” said Heather DeLapp, a spokeswoman for North Tarrant infrastructure, a lead contractor on the I-35W construction from Loop 820 south to near downtown Fort Worth.

Some pieces will take a little longer.

The connectors in and out of downtown Fort Worth on Belknap and Weatherford streets, which were added to the project later, should be completed by the end of the year. The connector from Interstate 30 east to northbound I-35W also should finished by the end of the year.

In April, four miles of new toll I-35W toll lanes opened between Loop 820 and Northside Drive, making it possible to travel on nearly 10 miles between Northside Drive to Heritage Trace Parkway in far north Fort Worth.

It hasn’t eased all of the congestion.

There are still backups north of North Tarrant Parkway and another choke point where the TEXPress toll lanes have traffic dumping into the left main lane of southbound I-35W.

There may continue to be traffic issues near downtown until the Weatherford and Belknap connectors open later this year.

The portion of the project that North Tarrant Infrastructure is constructing from I-30 to Loop 820 totals $1.4 billion. Another $244 million was built by the Texas Department of Transportation.

This report contains information from the Star-Telegram archives.

Bill Hanna: 817-390-7698, @ fwhanna
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