Representatives with the Texas Department of Transportation and Dallas officials on May 19 were among those gathered in a parking lot near the Skillman Street bridge crossing over I-635. Nearby was a new, temporary bridge set to open in late spring, which drivers will soon cross as the original bridge built in 1967 is demolished this summer.
The 11-mile 635 East Project spans from just east of US 75 in north Dallas to I-30 in Mesquite. TxDOT is aiming to improve mobility, operations and safety along I-635 in Dallas County. Construction began in spring 2020 and will last through late 2024.
Mo Bur, Dallas district engineer for TxDOT, said the new Skillman Street bridge portion of the project will simplify the drive over the highway and provide safer pedestrian access with a “sleek, modern” design. TxDOT officials expect steel installation for the permanent bridge to begin in 2023, with traffic switching onto it in mid-2024.
“What an amazing bridge it will be,” Bur said. “It will be the crown centerpiece of a $1.7 billion project. It will become a true gateway to east Dallas and the Lake Highlands neighborhood.”
City Council Member Adam McGough called the Skillman Street and I-635 intersection the most dangerous in the entire region. However, he praised efforts from both past and current elected officials and engineers who have worked to eventually improve the intersection.
“It has represented a lot of what we don't want, and like and love about transportation,” McGough said. “What it's moving toward, and what it will be, is a lot of what we recognize as good about transportation; it gets people where we need to go. It helps people get home to dinner with their family.”
Project information and updates can be found at www.635east.com