- @gdickson and @fwstevans
HURST - Motorists will once again find it easier to move north and south through Hurst.
The new Hurstview Drive bridge over Texas 121/183 will open at 10 a.m. Saturday, officials with the North Tarrant Express project said.
The bridge had been closed since April, as part of the $2.5 billion freeway makeover known as North Tarrant Express.
Officials also announced Friday that the North Tarrant Express project, which began in January 2011, had reached its halfway point. The developer has promised to complete its work by the end of June 2015, according to its contract with the Texas Department of Transportation. With the announcement that the work had reached its halfway point, it would appear that construction is roughly six months ahead of schedule - but officials with the project declined to discuss specifics, other than to say they were on schedule to meet their deadline.
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North Tarrant Express is a $2.5 billion makeover of Northeast Loop 820 and Texas 121/183 in Northeast Tarrant County. The developer is NTE Mobility Partners, which is a team of companies led by the U.S. subsidiary of Spain-based Cintra.
NTE Mobility Partners spokesman Robert Hinkle announced the opening of the Hurstview Bridge and the project's 50 percent completion Friday morning during a Northeast Tarrant Transportation Summit held by Tarrant County Commissioner Gary Fickes.
Speaking to an audience of several hundred people in Hurst, Hinkle quipped that Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley had been asking him about twice a week for many months when the Hurstview Bridge would re-open.
"Judge Whitley lives on the north side of the bridge, and his church is on the south side," Hinkle said. "He's been telling me it's my fault people are not getting to God. I'm waking up in the middle of the night thinking about that."
While the opening of the Hurstview Bridge likely will be cheered by motorists trying to get from one side of Hurst to another, it may not make much of a difference for traffic passing through the city.
The eastbound frontage road between Precinct Line Road and Cavender Drive will be closed for up to three months - meaning drivers using the Hurstview Bridge won't have a direct connection to Texas 121/183.
"You can go north and south across the bridge, but you won't be able to turn east onto the frontage road," said Lara Kohl, spokeswoman for Bluebonnet Constructors, the firm overseeing construction. "This is a local access bridge only, not connected to the main lanes of the expressway, and it never was. We anticipate three months to reconstruct the frontage roads in that area."