Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Are Tollways/Turnpikes Really the Way to Go?

Are Tollways/Turnpikes Really the Way to Go?

LBJ 635 is the main East and West highway in the Dallas area, named after President Lyndon B Johnson.  It's a nightmare to drive on.  Rush hour in the morning starts at about 5:30am and goes until about 9:30am.  Afternoon rush hour starts at about 3pm and goes until about 7pm.  We're talking constant stop and go.  I try to avoid 635 at all costs if I can.  It's easier to avoid now that they've semi-completed the George Bush Turnpike about 5 miles north of 635.

Well, there has been lots of talk over the years about how they are going to dig tunnels under 635 to get some of the traffic off the main highway.  Even though there have been plans and much talk for about 20 years, they're now saying there's not enough money for this project to actually do it.

The new concept they've thought about is running channels 25 feet under 635.  The channels would only be 3 lanes for each direction.  There will also be a toll charged to go underground as the money to build the channels would be coming from private funds and not the state.  This would create the 4th tollroad in Dallas.  pretty soon, you're not going to be able to go anywhere without paying to drive on the roads. 

Are my taxes not paying for roads?  This is ridiculous.  I already live right off the Bush Turkpike. The Bush is currently being extended to be a loop around the Dallas area.  The Dallas North Tollway has been here for years.  Highway 121, further north, just turned into a tollway a couple of months ago.  I'm getting really sick and tired of paying to drive to the grocery store or to my parents or to my office.

Are there other places in the country that can say they have FOUR Tollways/Turnpikes in their immediate metropolitan area?  If I wanted to include the entire state, I would include the multiple Tollways in Houston, Austin, ect... 

Comment balloon 6 commentsDonna Harris • November 15 2006 10:32AM


When i lived in Dallas several years ago, i always thought they were joking talking about the underground highways...can't even begin to imagine how they could safely make it happen!  that being said, i'd rather have toll roads than incomplete roads.  our outerbelt loop in Charlotte (485) has been under construction for almost 10 years now and won't be complete until MAYBE 2015 because the state keeps running out of money.  i'd be delighted to pay a toll if i had a road to use....

Posted by Leigh Brown, CEO, Dream Maker - Charlotte, NC (Leigh Brown & Associates, RE/MAX Executive) about 14 years ago

Leigh, if you used to live here, you know it took over 30 years for the renevations of Central Expressway to be "complete".  About two months after it was complete, they tore it up again to make the interchange between 75 and 635 better, which is called The HighFive as there are 5 sections of overpasses.  It was rumored that they would dig the tunnels at the same time, but that never happened.  The Highfive was actually completed about 3-4 months ago, which was over a year ahead of schedule... they're always tearing up the roads here and there's never a good route!!

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 14 years ago

Oh boy!  You should see the debates in Austin over toll roads...

We have never had them in central Texas and the first of them have begun to open as of 11/1/2006.  Now granted they are free until 1/1/2007 so nobody is complaining too much more than normal yet...just wait until people can no longer use them for free and have to begin paying for them, I suspect that the complaints will rise again.

Posted by Allan Pape about 14 years ago

Yes, we have paid for our roads.  And somehow Texas managed for a very long time to have the best road system in the country without toll roads; why can't we manage it now? 

On the long-term construction scene, when I was a little girl of 5, living in East Texas, we drove my older sister to college at Southwestern University in Georgetown.  There was construction on IH35 in Temple every time we drove through there for four years.  In fact, there was construction somewhere around there on IH35 there right up until a very few years ago.  Now, I just turned 57.  Doing the math, it would appear that it took them half a century to get through working on just that particular segment of IH35 - and now they're doing down in our area!  They've been working on IH35 somewhere between Jarrell and Georgetown ever since we moved out here in 1996 and it doesn't look like it's going to end any time soon.

However, if you REALLY want to get a roads "discussion" going, try mentioning the Trans Texas Corridor.   I sometimes think I wouldn't be surprised if people started pulling out their guns on that one. 

Posted by Tricia Jumonville, Texas REALTOR , Agent With Horse Sense (Bradfield Properties) about 14 years ago

I understand the frustration of IH35.  The drive to Austin can be a big pain sometimes.  What I don't understand is with all the construction, why they felt the need to make the road only 2 lanes each way.  They know hundreds of thousands of people go from Dallas to Austin every month, and it only makes sense for at least 3 lanes each way.

As for the Trans Texas Corridor, I don't know much about it except from what I understand, it's going far around Dallas and not through Dallas so it shouldn't effect us here, much... but I could be wrong.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 14 years ago

When IH35 was built (way before you were born, most likely), two lanes was more than sufficient for anticipated growth for a long time.  It's three lanes where we are now - that was the construction that started right after we moved out here - and is moving north towards Waco.  Plus they're putting in SH130 to loop around Austin on one side, and the Parmer Lane extension from north Austin is coming in on the other side. 

You should read up on the Trans Texas Corridor - it's interesting, to say the least.  The word "boondoggle" springs to mind if you're of a certain age.  And it's been handled badly - lts of people who may or may not be in its path, not knowing what they can do with their land, not knowing if they can even sell it, not knowing if they should buy land anywhere in the huge swath that's a possible path, because it's taking them so long to determine where it will go.  Which is where it impacts real estate professionals, even if we don't live in its path.


Posted by Tricia Jumonville, Texas REALTOR , Agent With Horse Sense (Bradfield Properties) about 14 years ago