Wow, there's an awful lot of underground work in this project. The childhood line-on-a-map roadgeek in me is facinated, even as the live-on-a-budget grownup cringes at how much is being spent to destroy the between-the-highways neighborhoods.
Originally Posted by SuperAROD
The work is much more than just building new frontage roads. Contractors must tunnel under the existing railroad tracks between Main Street and Jefferson Boulevard for about 500 feet, all while keeping the busy rail lines open right beside them.And in the adding-insult-to-injury department:
At I-20, the main lanes of Highway 161 will require ramps and columns much taller than those being built. In addition, the project calls for a five-level interchange at I-30, with ramps towering 120 feet above the future lanes of Highway 161, which will go under the existing lanes of I-30.
About the time the existing projects end, the state expects to award a contract to a private group to build the main lanes of Highway 161, all the way from I-20 to State Highway 183 near the south end of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Hey, it's a slogan! "Highway 161: You're Going South in a Hurry!" Handbasket not included.
Before deciding to turn the project over to a private bidder, the state estimated that Highway 161's main lanes would cost about $650 million. The private group will pay for the rights to build the road and collect tolls for an undetermined time period.
That work should begin in early 2008, and some portions of the main lanes could open by 2010. The section from Highway 183 to I-30 could open even earlier, if the state and contractors agree to make it a priority to open the road to coincide with the fall 2009 opening of the new Dallas Cowboys football stadium in Arlington, Mr. Bostic said.
The 11.6-mile project should open by 2012, and a drive on the entire road should cost about $1.75.
"If you need to go south in a hurry, this will be the way to go," Mr. Bostic said.