Nov 30, 2022 - News

How congestion on Dallas roads compares to other Texas roads

U.S. Highway 75, near the Hall Street overpass. Photo: Cooper Neill/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Dallas-Fort Worth had 37 of the 100 most congested Texas roads in 2021, according to an analysis by Texas A&M University's Transportation Institute.

Driving the news: Interstate 345 — the stretch of highway that connects Interstate 75 to Interstate 45 in Dallas — moved to the top 10 most congested, rising to seventh from 12th in 2020, according to the institute's analysis of Texas Department of Transportation data.

Why it matters: Advocates have pushed to tear down I-345, which divides Deep Ellum from downtown, saying it would be better for the surrounding neighborhoods.

  • But TxDOT says the traffic demand is too high on the highway that connects southern Dallas to the north and instead recommends trenching the aging highway.

State of play: The 1.4 mile elevated highway was built in 1973 and updated in 2016, but it's nearing the end of its lifespan and will need to be rebuilt or removed and replaced.

  • State transportation officials briefed City Council last month on its study of replacement options.
  • Dallas residents were surveyed in 2019, 2021 and this year on their preferences for the highway, with most supporting keeping a highway as opposed to removing it and replacing it with a boulevard.

By the numbers: On average, 180,000 vehicles traveled daily on I-345 in 2019, a total that is projected to increase to 206,000 vehicles a day by 2045, per TxDOT.

Zoom out: D-FW has three other highways in the top 10 most congested roads.

  • Woodall Rodgers Freeway from U.S. 75 to Beckley Avenue ranks second, causing about 1 million hours of delay per mile each year.
  • Interstate 35W between State Highway 183 and Interstate 30 in Fort Worth ranks sixth, up from ninth.
  • U.S. 75 from Interstate 635 to Woodall Rodgers dropped to the ninth spot from seventh.

The bottom line: Overall road delays were still down 28% last year from pre-pandemic levels, but a rapidly increasing Texas population is straining the state's roadways.


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