'Midtown Express' Project Includes More Than 70 Bridges

The project is part of a $2.5 billion plan that will add additional lanes and a diamond interchange to the three midtown highway sections.

📅   Tue June 20, 2017 - West Edition #13
Chuck Harvey

The $847.6 million Midtown Express project will rebuild and improve portions of much-used Texas state highways.
(Southgate photo)
The $847.6 million Midtown Express project will rebuild and improve portions of much-used Texas state highways. (Southgate photo)

The $847.6 million Midtown Express project will rebuild and improve portions of much-used Texas state highways 183 and 114 and Loop 12 in the Dallas, Ft. Worth and Irving areas.

Capacity of the highways will be increased through construction of a TEXpress toll managed lane in each direction, except on SH 114 from SH 161 to International Parkway where one toll lane will be constructed westbound.

The project includes rehabilitation of 44 bridges and construction of 28 new bridges.

Crews also will construct four direct connector ramps and one wishbone structure.

Construction of Midtown Express, also known as the managed-lanes project, began in spring of 2015 and is expected to conclude in late 2018.

The project corridors are being reconstructed in two or more phases. Workers will reconstruct nearly 28 mi. of roadway: 14.8 mi. of SH 183, 10.5 mi. of SH 114 and 2.5 mi. of SH Loop 12. The project spans five cities and two counties.

Midtown Express is an interim project that will increase vehicle capacity on the heavily-used midtown highways. It is part of a $2.5 billion plan that will add additional lanes and a diamond interchange to the three midtown highway sections.

Funding has not yet been identified for the $2.5 billion amount.

The current roadway dates back to 1959 and has remained relatively unchanged since 1973 when an additional main lane was added in each direction.

The Midtown Express Project provides improvements on SH 183 from SH 121 in Tarrant County to I 35E in Dallas, on SH 114 from SH 183 to International Parkway and on SH Loop 12 from SH 183 to I 35E.

Crews will reconstruct portions of general purpose lanes and frontage roads.

Ultimately, general purpose and frontage lanes will be added to SH 183, SH 114 and Loop 12. For the interim project, the number of general purpose and frontage lanes remains the same.

SH 183 has three general purpose lanes, SH 114 has two to four general purpose lanes and Loop 12 has three general purpose lanes.

Bridges along the highways will either be widened or replaced. That includes construction of new SH 183 Trinity River bridges.

Major JV

Handling Construction

Contractor is SouthGate Mobility Partners, a joint venture between Fort Worth-based Kiewit Infrastructure South Co. and Dallas-based Austin Bridge & Road.

Funding for the project comes from state and federal sources and a pending Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan.

“We applied for a TIFIA loan,” said Lisa Walzi, public information officer for the Texas Department of Transportation.

Pasadena, Calif.- based Parsons Transportation Group designed the project.

Project Mid-Way Through Second Year

Bridge work continues including construction of the Trinity River bridges.

A widening of a SH 114 bridge over O'Connor Boulevard is nearly complete. Final pavement on SH 114 has been placed from Belt Line Road to Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport.

Work on SH 114 is expected to be completed in late 2017.

Also, utility relocations on SH 183 through Irving are 60 percent complete. Deck pours on eastbound SH 183 over the Elm Fork on the Trinity River have been completed.

Recent, Future Work

The project team has been placing girders, pouring bridge decks and painting direct connections between SH 183 and Loop 12.

They are constructing bridges and walls at all major intersections in Irving and Euless.

Eastbound and westbound SH 183 main lanes will switch to new alignments from Industrial Boulevard to Main Street in fall 2017. Eastbound and westbound SH 183 frontage roads will move onto a permanent alignment from along the same stretch in fall 2017. The Main Street bridge is scheduled for substantial completion the following winter.

Loop 12 ramp closures are in place to facilitate the start of new direct connector construction. Major traffic switches have taken place on northbound and southbound Loop 12 between I 35E and SH 183.

Substantial completion of Loop 12 direct-connect bridges is scheduled for fall 2018.

Also, workers are reconstructing portions of frontage roads.

So far, construction crews have set 800 of 1,887 bridge girders in place for the Midtown Express project. The contractor expects to set more than 1,000 girders this year.

Crews moved 835,000 cu. yds. of dirt in 2016 and the contractor expects to move more than 1.2 million cu. yds. for road construction during 2017.

Building walls is another major part of the highways work. In 2016, workers constructed 183,000 sq. ft. of walls for the project. The plan is to build 555,000 sq. ft. of walls this year.

Heavy Equipment

Equipment includes bulldozers, backhoes, delivery trucks, dump trucks, cement trucks, cranes, pile drivers and asphalt pavers.

Aging Highways

SH 183 has served north Texas' growing transportation needs since the 1940s.

Today the highway serves as a primary artery between Dallas and Fort Worth. But with the current roadway 58 years old, it is no longer considered adequate to meet the demand of 150,000 to 170,000 vehicles per day. SH 114, also known as the Northwest Parkway, has been the site of major development for almost half a decade, especially in Dallas.

Planners expect to increase the capacity of SH 183 and portions of SH 114 and Loop 12 with the addition of the toll-managed lanes.