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New I-35W ramps open to downtown Fort Worth! But you gotta pay a toll

New toll ramps open to downtown Fort Worth

New toll ramps connecting drivers on Interstate 35W to Belknap and Weatherford streets in downtown Fort Worth opened unexpectedly Friday. It's part of the North Tarrant Express project.
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New toll ramps connecting drivers on Interstate 35W to Belknap and Weatherford streets in downtown Fort Worth opened unexpectedly Friday. It's part of the North Tarrant Express project.

There’s now a quicker way in and out of downtown Fort Worth — for motorists who can afford a toll.

New TEXPress toll ramps connecting Interstate 35W’s TEXPress toll lanes to Belknap and Weatherford streets in downtown Fort Worth opened up unexpectedly Friday afternoon.

At 3 p.m., workers were removing orange barrels to fully open the lanes.

“They should be open for rush hour,” spokeswoman Brooke Goggans said.

The toll ramps will be open permanently, and fully available for rush-hour drivers to use all of next week and in perpetuity, she said, although work crews will still be in the area doing finish-up work for some time.

Although the ramps will be an obvious benefit for those who can afford the tolls on the TEXPress lanes, they will also thin out the congestion on I-35W during peak periods, authorities say.

On Southbound I-35W, it’s not uncommon for traffic to back up more than two miles near Northside Drive, the place where the toll lanes previously ended, forcing toll lane traffic to squeeze in with non-toll traffic just north of I-30.

Prices for these “Lexus lane” exits into and out of downtown Fort Worth will be posted on electronic signs, so drivers can see the dollar amount and make a decision about whether to pay electronically with their TollTags. The prices are variable, meaning they change minute-to-minute based on traffic conditions.

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Gordon Dickson joined the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1997. He is passionate about hard news reporting, and his beats include transportation, growth, urban planning, aviation, real estate, jobs, business trends. He is originally from El Paso, and loves food, soccer and long drives.
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