The developer of the $2 billion-plus North Tarrant Express project has launched an online tool to help motorists get real-time information about not only traffic accidents but also construction-related lane closures in the 13-mile work zone.
The project on Loop 820 and Texas 121/183 in Northeast Tarrant County is expected to be completed in 2015. Some side work is already being done on the highways, and the direct connection between westbound Texas 183 and northbound Texas 121 in Bedford is permanently closed. But the real fun involving overnight movement of barriers and constant lane reroutings begins later in the summer.
With the new online tool, the idea is to give people up-to-the-minute information about traffic conditions on the corridor before they set out to travel through it, said Robert Hinkle, spokesman for NTE Mobility Partners, the consortium of developers working on the project.
The software was developed in a partnership with an online company that produces beatthetraffic.com, Hinkle said. The company normally charges viewers a subscription for real-time information, but in this case is making the information available at no cost to drivers, because NTE Mobility Partners paid a fee of a "couple thousand dollars," Hinkle said.
A mobile website for those who want to access the information with a smartphone will be released possible next week, officials said.
But officials at the North Tarrant Express plan to discourage motorists from looking up the information while driving.
"Plan before you go," he said. "Look it up before you leave the office, or before you leave home, and try not to throw your Blackberry up in front of your face" while driving.
-- Gordon Dickson, email@example.com