Texas Department of Transportation, state and local officials commemorated the start of construction on the Interstate 35 Northeast Expansion (NEX) Central project with a groundbreaking ceremony that drew more than 200 guests on May 11th.
The ceremony was led by Texas Transportation Commission Chairman J. Bruce Bugg, Jr. and TxDOT District Engineer Gina Gallegos, P.E., followed by remarks from Texas State Senators Donna Campbell and Jose Menendez, and State Representatives John Kuempel, Barbara Gervin-Hawkins, Steve Allison and Elizabeth “Liz” Campos.
The $1.5 billion Texas Clear Lanes project aims to increase mobility, reduce congestion and improve driver safety with 9.5 miles of non-tolled transportation improvements along I-35 from I-410 North in Bexar County to FM 3009 in Guadalupe County. Texas Clear Lanes is a statewide strategic plan to provide congestion relief through non-tolled roads and is focused on the five major metro areas of Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. This project will span the cities of San Antonio, Live Oak, Selma and Schertz.
“We are thrilled to bring this much-needed mobility improvement project to the highly traveled IH-35 corridor that you see behind us today,” Gallegos said. “We would not be here today without the support of our partners, stakeholders and community members.”
Gallegos said the project is “critical to this area” because over 200,000 drivers travel each day within the IH-35 NEX project limits, and that number is expected to more than double by 2044 on main lanes alone.
Bugg remarked that Texas’ current population of 29 million is well on its way to reaching 47 million by 2050, which will require the state to focus on transportation and grow its lane capacity to keep it the number one state for business.
The I-35 NEX Central project will increase capacity with new elevated lanes, including high-occupancy vehicle lanes, and provide overpasses to I-410 North and Loop 1604 West. Once complete, the project will improve safety and mobility, address projected traffic growth and reduce travel time. I-35 NEX Central is the first of three expansion projects along a 20-mile stretch of I-35.
“Today begins the first of many milestones for this project,” said Angel Luis Sanchez, CEO of Ferrovial Construction North America. “We are excited to start construction on a project that will improve mobility to a fast-growing population area of Texas.”
Jose Carlos Esteban, President and CEO of Webber, underlined Ferrovial’s long history of delivering complicated projects, especially in Texas. “Ferrovial Construction and Webber have proven they can deliver,” he said. “We know we have a big challenge, but both teams put together can deliver the project and all San Antonians will be affected positively.”
Alamo NEX Construction, comprised of Ferrovial Construction and Webber, has already begun the preliminary work of geotechnical drilling and utility potholing. Construction will begin this summer and is anticipated to be complete by 2027.