The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Expressway construction impacts NW, NE students

By Frankie Farrar-Helm/entertainment editor

NW and NE campuses will soon be affected by the new North Tarrant Express highway construction.

According to Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Tony Hartzel, the $2.05 billion dollar project will rebuild several of Tarrant County’s congested highways by 2015.

The North Tarrant Express will combine general purpose lanes, continuous frontage roads and managed toll lanes.

When complete, the project will provide eight to 10 lanes on Interstate 820 and State Highways 121 and 183, he said.

“TxDOT views this project as an important improvement to regional mobility,” Hartzel said. “By eventually more than doubling the capacity of this highway, we will improve the commutes for hundreds of thousands of motorists a day.”

NW Campus is west of the first segment of construction on 820 from Interstate 35W to North East Mall in Hurst, which began late last year. NE Campus is in the joint of the first and second segments.

The second segment is about to begin on 183 from North East Mall to Industrial Boulevard in Euless.

Later this month, the 121 North exit will close for construction. As that time, drivers traveling westbound on 183 must exit Murphy Drive, go through traffic over the bridge and continue onto the access road to reach 121 North. Drivers traveling eastbound on 183 must exit Westpark Way and go through the same process.

Eventually, the bridge will be replaced, but as of now, the construction is expected to take two to three years.

Unlike present-day tollways that have a set price for a set distance, the North Tarrant Express will provide a managed tollway that fluctuates based on the amount of congestion it has.

This will help drivers maintain a minimum of 55 mph, said Lara Kohl, public relations manager for Blue Bonnet Contractors, which is building one part of the highway.

“The idea of the tollway is for drivers to spend less time in traffic during rush hour,” Kohl said. “This will guarantee people a trip for their money.”

A majority of the construction on 183 will begin around 7 p.m.

NE student Kim Maynard, 52, who lives on the corner of West Parkway and 121, said people  have talked about this project since 1989.

“With all the money being made by the engineers, can’t they come up with a better solution?” Maynard asked.

“I’ve paid a lot of taxes over the years for this so-called project. It’s about time, but 15 years — really?”

The North Tarrant Express is just a taste of what is to come.

Construction on the highway into Dallas is expected to continue until 2025.

For traffic, weather and construction updates, visit www.northtarrantexpress.com.

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