New Freeway Opens. Dallas Gets Excited.

The High Five. Less painful now, assuming you've got the cash.
The High Five. Less painful now, assuming you've got the cash.
Andreas Praefcke

Want to actually, you know, drive on LBJ rather than just sitting on it? Now you can, but it'll cost you.

The TEXpress lanes are open. The new sunken pay lanes on Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway — we'll begrudgingly admit — are a civil engineering marvel. They'll also generate quite a bit of revenue, with prices that fluctuate with demand and encourage carpooling. The temptation, we'd imagine, to hop out of LBJ's brutal traffic and onto the TEXpress will be quite strong, as has already been shown by traffic Thursday afternoon.

That looks fun. 

As one might expect, in North Texas, a place that loves freeways and sprawl almost as much as it loves the Cowboys, the TEXpress opening was met with an abundance of pomp and circumstance, as documented by a series of tweets, videos and photos from TV news reporters.

There was a ceremonial first trip, complete with siren-blasting firetrucks.

There was a whole gaggle of onlookers.

There was also a ribbon cutting ribbon-branding involving City Council Member Monica Alonzo, state Representative Jason Villalba and Dallas County Commissioner Mike Cantrell.

The new lanes are cut up into three segments. If you want to move from one segment to the next, you'll have to pay an additional toll, as explained in the LBJ Express Project's extensive online guide. Overhead signs will alert drivers of the fluctuating prices that are meant to keep traffic flowing at at least 50 mph on the express lanes. Prices are cheaper for drivers carrying at least one passenger, as long as the driver registers their trip online using their toll tag. Tolls will run between 10 and 75 cents a mile.

LBJ TEXpress lanes, mapped.
LBJ TEXpress lanes, mapped.
North Texas Tollway Authority

According to J. Bruce Bugg Jr., a state transportation commissioner interviewed at the event for a Dallas Morning News video, the newly expanded LBJ will be able to transport 250,000 cars a day.

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