Thursday, April 21, 2011

Construction Begins Along LBJ Freeway

A major five-year construction project is now finally beginning along the LBJ Freeway. The project is supposed to help with all the highway traffic. But, before that happens, traffic along the 635 is going to get much worse. It is already bad to have to drive on LBJ Freeway along with the more than 500,000 other drivers each day. Hopefully, though this $2 billion dollar project will help relieve the crowded road. It will cost people for this added convenience. It will be paid for by raised taxes and then drivers who chose to take the new road will pay a toll. The cost of the toll has not been determined, but it is said that it will vary from 15 cents a mile in light traffic times to 55 cents a mile during peak driving times. This toll is supposed to help with the costs of building the roads. But it seems like once a toll is charged, it will never go away. The toll road in Dallas has been finished a long time, yet tolls are still charged. So I bet drivers will always have to pay for it. It is good for the economy though because it will employ workers for 5 years during construction and then employ some toll workers. Companies that make road building products will benefit from increased sales. Businesses that sell food will probably see an increase in sales as the construction workers will most likely buy food nearby their work site. After the project is complete, businesses along LBJ will benefit because it is projected that traffic will double in those areas.

4 comments:

  1. As a frequent traveler on LBJ I am very excited to hear that they are trying to improve the flow of traffic. Although this improvement is a good thing, I do recognize that it will cause more traffic problems fixing it but will be improved once we get done with this project. Drivers that are easily annoyed by traffic problems will probably substitute their normal route for an easier one until LBJ is complete. Other than that the points you brought up seem to be more positive for the economy then bad. Hopefully these positive outcomes will be an incentive for drivers to be patient with the roads!

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  2. The new LBJ project has its ups and downs. First off, it is going to increase taxes for the people of Dallas, obviously a downside. I think it is great that they are trying to improve traffic flow, but with the complete removal of the LBJ HOV lane and a tax to use the new freeway, a lot of people will not be happy. Some people don't have the money to pay to drive on the freeway every day to work. As a current HOV lane user, it upsets me that there will not be an HOV lane any more, and with the current economic situation, my family will probably have to find another route to go to school and work. Obviously, there are benefits that come with this project, but it has its downsides too.

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  3. This construction along LBJ sounds like a terrible idea all around. The traffic build up all along the highway during rush hours may bring stress to drivers but as far as having a positive effect on the economy, I don’t see how this construction will help. Clearly, the actual construction will interfere with daily drivers from all over the DFW metroplex causing backups daily. When this is the case, workers will get to wherever it is they are going late: so for work, this will cause delays in output for any company resulting in a lower net income. Taking 5 years to complete with its harmful effect on business could result in companies having to make the shutdown decision because they are paying too much extra when their workers can’t make it to work on time anymore. In order to balance this effect some companies may have to open later or even close earlier to accommodate the traffic needs for 5 years. When the construction is over, all may return to normal, but the 5 year project could cause a company to fall behind in the business cycle.

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  4. Holly, I disagree: infrastructure is an integral part of the community on a local or national scale. While the use of taxpayer money on a public works project that could otherwise be spent on improving education in the metropolis is a disappointment, constructing a newer highway is still pertinent. Expedient infrastructures, modernized construction projects, etc., all raise the status/prestige of a city: LBJ is no different. You imagined a worst-case, end-times scenario where some workers using nearby roads and highways will be forced into perpetual tardiness, eventually leading to decreased workplace efficiency, and ultimately, a suffering local economy. I highly doubt that. Traffic will be stressfully backed up for a couple of months, eventually easing up as construction progresses. The innovative new processes in construction & “highway building” mean that LBJ will stand strong for almost a century. The freeway has its own drainage system with automated filtration, and is large enough to land a 747 on. It’s a fantastic build in my opinion, and the business it will bring to local companies around its construction once completed will prove to be more beneficial than wasteful, especially with the predicted population growth rates in Dallas-Fort Worth. If that’s not your fancy, try riding a bike.

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