Forward Thinking Benefits PGBT WE ConstructionDriving along State Highway 161 it is easy to notice the large, 60-foot-deep hole north of Interstate 30, created as crews make way for construction of the future President George Bush Turnpike Western Extension. As the digging has progressed, many people were surprised to see that the I-30 main lanes were actually on a bridge.
During the initial planning of SH 161 in the early 1970s, the Texas Department of Transportation determined that the most efficient way for SH 161 to cross I-30 was underneath it. This decision was made based on multiple factors, including impacting the fewest number of homes and businesses, minimize noise impacts to the area, and developing a more simplified design.
When it came time to reconstruct I-30, TxDOT knew that SH 161 eventually would be rebuilt and resolved that the I-30 bridges should be included over the future SH 161 main lanes in the project. This advance decision made it possible to minimize the disruptions along I-30 during the current construction since the bridge already has been built. In addition, construction costs were reduced since they were not subjected to inflation.
Earthwork, and retaining wall and drainage structure installation continues throughout the corridor. Work on bridge drill shafts, footings, columns and other operations carry on at the I-20 and I-30 interchanges. On the north end, work on the temporary Union Pacific Railroad tracks, known as a “shoofly,” continues. On the south end, paving work is getting under way on the south-to-west direct-connector bridge tying into I-20. In addition, all southbound lanes of SH 161 between Mayfield Road and I-20 are closed until the end of August. This will allow crews to begin construction on the new PGBT Western Extension interchange at I-20. Electronic message and detour signs are posted to guide traffic through the closure. Detour maps are available at www.ntta.org.
Stay informed of the latest news regarding PGBT Western Extension: subscribe to NTTA’s bi-weekly e-news update. Daily lane and ramp closure information also is available at www.ntta.org or by calling the NTTA Information Line at (214) 224-3030.