ARLINGTON – Lane closures may cause headaches for motorists on Interstate 30 in Arlington this weekend, but after that a whole new batch of freeway lanes will be permanently opened up.
In the latest example that progress is being made on the $166 million "Three Bridges" project, the Texas Department of Transportation plans to periodically close westbound I-30 main lanes from about 2 a.m. to noon Saturday. At times on Saturday morning, westbound traffic will be reduced to one lane. Motorists are urged to seek alternate routes.
If bad weather strikes Saturday, the lane closures could be delayed until Sunday morning instead, but in all likelihood will happen this weekend, Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Val Lopez said.
The good news is, when the lanes reopen, traffic will be able to use the newly constructed westbound side of the freeway. Motorists have endured detours on the freeway main lanes for the better part of two years.
"This is a huge jump as far as mobility and access go," Lopez said.
Once the westbound lanes are open, new entrance ramps to westbound I-30 at Ballpark Way and Center Street/Collins Street soon will follow. That will make it much easier for drivers to get out of traffic after a day at a Texas Rangers or Dallas Cowboys game, or Six Flags Over Texas, and get home to Fort Worth or other points west.
On the eastbound side of the road, traffic will still be temporarily diverted toward the shoulder, while workers continue building the new Baird Farm Road/Legends Way bridge. That bridge is on track to be finished during the summer.
The project, which included the demolition and reconstruction of the Collins Street bridge and construction of new overpasses at Baird Farm Road and Center Street, is on schedule to be complete by this fall, officials said.
Large incentives have been used to ensure the main contractor, W.W. Webber Llc. of Houston, stayed on scheduled. Webber received a $960,000 bonus from the state transportation department for having the eastbound lanes built by May 1, 2009, and would receive another $1.23 million bonus if the rest of the project is substantially complete by this fall. And Webber is on track to get that money, despite numerous days of work lost to rain during an unusually wet winter.