Photo by Diane S.W. Lee
Drivers traveling through Grapevine, Southlake and Irving will have two more years to navigate construction traffic until the 8.4-mile DFW Connector project’s completion.
Area city, county, state and federal officials on Dec. 12 gathered on the freshly paved Main Street bridge in Grapevine to celebrate the project’s midway mark.
“In addition to 50 percent done, we’re ahead of schedule,” said Phil Wilson, executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation, to a round of applause at the gathering.
The DFW Connector project will overhaul Hwy. 121, Hwy. 114 and adjacent roadways north of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The project is aimed at reducing roadway congestion and improving access to the DFW airport.
The estimated $1.1 billion project is funded from a combination of public gas taxes, bond proceeds for right-of-way acquisition and federal economic stimulus money.
In 2009, NorthGate Constructors, a partnership between Kiewit Texas Construction and Zachry Construction Corporation, was awarded the project’s design-build contract.
Victor Mendez, Federal Highway administrator, hailed the project’s design-build as innovative in helping to speed up construction.
“It may not be new to TxDOT or to Texas, but you’d be amazed that some states still don’t have the authority to undertake design-build,” Mendez said. “Through this process, you are helping to minimize the impact of construction on local businesses and the traveling public. And best of all, you are going to complete the project by the year 2014.”
Construction on the project began in February 2010. By 2014, workers will have rebuilt portions of four highways, five bridges and two interchanges to improve traffic flow through the area.
Major improvements include creating continuous frontage road lanes along Hwy. 114 between William D. Tate and Northwest Highway, as well as adding lanes to expand the highway corridor to as wide as 24 lanes along Hwy. 114 between Texan Trail and International Parkway. New direct-connect ramps will connect northbound Hwy. 121 to westbound Hwy. 114 and eastbound Hwy. 114 to southbound Hwy. 121.
NorthGate officials say most of the worst closings occurred in the first half of the project and work in 2012 should move smoothly as crews continue building new lanes, rebuilding old pavement and erecting massive bridge structures.
In the coming months, workers will finish work on the Hwy. 114 main and frontage lanes passing over Hwy. 26. They will also continue work on the William D. Tate Avenue bridge, which should be complete this summer.
Main Street Bridge is also scheduled to open to full capacity early this year once the last utilities near the intersection are moved, and a ramp connecting northbound International Parkway to eastbound Hwy. 114 is expected to be up and running midyear.
Though crews are beginning work on the FM 1709 and Texan Trail bridges this year, they are not expected to wrap up until late 2013.
- Timeline: Anticipated completion in early 2014.
- Cost: $1.1 billon
- Funding source:
- 1. Texas Department of Transportation ($667 million)
- 2. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ($260 million)
- 3.Proposition 14 bonds ($107 million)
- 4. Proposition 12 bonds ($32 million)
Want to find out details of major road closures for the DFW Connector project? There’s a mobile app for that. The application is available for free download on the iPhone and Android.
The application includes:
- latest updates on road closures
- traffic conditions
Business Owners’ Task Force
To keep local businesses in the loop about construction nearby, the NorthGate team holds monthly meetings to update business owners and general managers about upcoming work that might affect them. For more information, contact liaison Perry Leonard at email@example.com or 817-454-4183. Visit www.dfwconnector.com for details about upcoming events and meetings.