Updated at 4:30 p.m. I just got off the phone with North Texas Tollway Authority spokesman Michael Rey. He says that, because of the extremely cold weather in the forecast, the agency has decided to postpone tonight's plan to shut down the I-20 main lanes for Chisholm Trail Parkway construction.
The I-20 closure likely will happen later this week, but NTTA officials aren't ready to say precisely what day the work will begin until they get a better look at the weather forecast. So stay tuned ...
Sorry if this post created any confusion for motorists. So just to recap, if you were planning to drive on I-20 tonight in south Fort Worth, you can proceed without worrying about a work zone closure. But the lanes are still pretty narrow and orange barrels and barricades are everywhere - so be careful ;-)
Here's the original post:
Traveling on Interstate 20 after hours in south Fort Worth could be a bit of a headache for motorists over the next several days.
Westbound I-20 will be shut down 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly Monday through Wednesday, between Hulen Street and Bryant Irvin Road. The closure is part of the ongoing construction of Chisholm Trail Parkway, a new 28-mile toll road connecting downtown Fort Worth to Cleburne that cuts diagonally across I-20.
Also, in that same area, eastbound I-20 will be closed nightly Wednesday through Saturday.
For local traffic, westbound motorists will be directed to take Texas 183 to Bryant Irvin Road then travel south to access I-20 on the other side of construction. Also, eastbound motorists can exit Bryant Irvin Road and take the I-20 frontage road through the work zone.
For regional pass-through traffic, North Texas Tollway Authority officials - who are overseeing the construction of the $1 billion toll road - recommend motorists use I-35W and I-30 to steer clear of the work zone.
Chisholm Trail Parkway is scheduled to be complete in roughly late June.
What are your transportation predictions for 2014? Star-Telegram aviation writer Andrea Ahles and I talk about a few prognostications in our latest episode of the Air, Land & Sea podcast ... and high-speed rail and toll roads are among them.
Brrrr! Star-Telegram aviation writer Andrea Ahles and I are talking about the region's week-long saga with icy roads - an event now known as "Icemageddon" - on the latest Air, Land & Sea podcast. Andrea also talks about the now-official American Airlines/US Airways merger.
As the Star-Telegram's Bill Hanna is reporting, a typical 20- or 30-minute commute could take two hours this morning because of treacherous, icy conditions. It's a far better idea to simply stay home today, if at all possible. DART is reporting that it has shut down its light-rail system in the Dallas area because the agency just wasn't able to keep the electrical components that powered it from freezing over. However, DART spokesman Mark Ball told KDFW Fox Channel 4 this morning that buses are being used as a shuttle service to connect the DART train stations. The Trinity Railway Express, a commuter rail line that is powered by diesel locomotives, is still running between Fort Worth and Dallas, but with delays. And, of course, many riders who normally use TRE to connect with DART's light-rail system are going to be frustrated when they get to Big D.
The winter storm is arriving a few hours early, and at 4:30 p.m. Thursday a steady stream of freezing rain pellets was falling in far north Fort Worth. A thick, slick coating of ice appears likely to greet us in the morning, and area residents should brace for nasty roads and school closures. (Yayyy!)
For those who ride public transportation or the Trinity Railway Express, the Fort Worth Transportation Authority advises that as it stands now all services are expecting to stick to a regular schedule tomorrow. TRE is using heaters to keep track switches and other important components functioning in sub-freezing temperatures, T spokeswoman Joan Hunter says.
The T is also revving up sanding trucks, to use on T bus routes, and also is making plans to use detours in certain areas if necessary.
Nonetheless, riders should be prepared for minor delays, just in case things are crawling in the mornin'.
In our latest podcast (link below), Fort Worth Star-Telegram aviation writer Andrea Ahles talks about what travelers can and can't bring aboard during holiday trips. (Hint: TSA frowns at carry-on cranberry sauce.) Also, I talk a little bit about the effort to slow down drivers at Ranger Hill on Interstate 20, a very busy (and sometimes dangerous) place for holiday motorists about 80 miles west of Fort Worth.