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Texas buys into variable toll lanes

The Texas Transportation Commission has awarded the US$847.6m State Highway 183 Managed Lanes Project contract to the Southgate Mobility Partners consortium led by Keiwit. Plans for Phase One of the project call for increasing the capacity of SH 183 and portions of SH 114 and Loop 12, with the addition of one managed toll lane in each direction. The managed lane will feature dynamic tolling that is designed to keep traffic moving at 80km/h (50mph). Construction work on SH 183, SH 114 and Loop 12 will start later this year and is scheduled for completion in 2018.

The tolled portions of the route, known as TEXpress lanes, will operate with fluctuating prices, similar to the system existing on the LBJ Freeway and the DFW Connector. Toll rates will be variable, dependent on the levels of congestion, with the aim of keeping motorists moving at a constant speed. TxDOT is expected to set the toll rates next month, with the North Texas Tollway Authority expected to manage toll collection and operations.

SH 183 has served North Texas’ growing transportation needs since the 1940s, but has remained relatively unchanged since 1973. Today, the highway serves as a primary artery between Dallas and Fort Worth, but it can no longer adequately meet the demand of 150,000 to 170,000 vehicles a day, with congestion expected to double in coming decades.

June 2, 2014

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