Construction to Begin on Bush Turnpike Extension in June
Activity on the President George Bush Turnpike Eastern Extension is intensifying as the North Texas Tollway Authority prepares to begin construction on a section of the 9.9-mile corridor in June.
The project is a partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). NTTA will construct four sections (numbered 28-31), and TxDOT will build Section 32, the southernmost section from Lake Ray Hubbard’s north shore to Interstate Highway 30 (IH 30).
Ground-breaking on Section 30, which runs from north of Merritt Road to south of Main Street in Rowlett, takes place June 11 at an as-yet-undetermined location.
Construction includes grading, drainage, structures, concrete pavement, retaining walls, illumination, sign structures, pavement markings, toll gantries, city utilities, information technology system infrastructure and signals.
Most of the structures in section 30, which will have the highest priority, have been acquired and abatement efforts will begin in early June. Work on other structures will begin as they become available. Structures that do not require abatement will be scheduled for demolition beginning in mid-June.
In other activities, efforts to obtain a Dallas Water Utilities easement to construct and operate the Lake Ray Hubbard Bridge portion of the Eastern Extension continue. DWU has agreed to allow NTTA an easement at no cost, and the NTTA has negotiated an interlocal agreement with the city of Dallas, which was approved by the NTTA board and Dallas City Council in May.
The NTTA also has negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding with Dallas Area Rapid Transit, which was approved at DART’s April 22 board meeting. Under NTTA’s governing statute, NTTA is required to pay the costs of relocating public facilities affected by an NTTA project. For the Eastern Extension, these costs include replacing DART freight track, constructing a permanent single-track freight bridge and relocating related tracks; and constructing frontage roads through the DART tract, including embankments, drainage facilities, columns, footings and related structures. NTTA will also cover the cost of design and construction to allow a future dual-track DART passenger rail bridge across the project, including drilled-shaft retaining walls that can be converted to suitable abutments to accommodate a future dual-track passenger rail bridge.
If and when DART elects to extend its light rail system across the project, the NTTA will also pay all costs actually incurred by DART for the design and construction of the future passenger rail bridge. If DART does not begin construction of the future Public Transit Bridge by 2048, the NTTA obligation to fund this bridge will terminate unless extended by written agreement of both parties.
This MOU was also approved by the NTTA board in May.