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Interstate 30 Undergoes $334M Upgrade in Rockwall, Texas

Tue May 16, 2023 - West Edition #11
TxDOT


Segment three of the I-30 expansion project is expected to begin in late 2023. The entire project is anticipated to be complete by 2027.
(TxDOT photo)
Segment three of the I-30 expansion project is expected to begin in late 2023. The entire project is anticipated to be complete by 2027. (TxDOT photo)
Segment three of the I-30 expansion project is expected to begin in late 2023. The entire project is anticipated to be complete by 2027.
(TxDOT photo) The widening of Interstate 30 comes amid significant growth in Rockwall County, which has consistently been named one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation.
(TxDOT photo) Over the lake portion of the interstate, crews will build a new bridge and reconstruct the Horizon Road interchange.
(TxDOT photo) Segment two of the I-30 expansion project extends across the lake from Dalrock Road to State Highway 205 and will widen the roadway from six lanes to eight.
(TxDOT photo) The second segment also will build continuous frontage roads from SH 205 across Lake Ray Hubbard, additions that will dramatically improve reliability during major incidents.
(TxDOT photo) (L-R): Rockwall Mayor Kevin Fowler, Rockwall County Commissioner Dennis Bailey, Texas Transportation Commissioner Robert Vaughn and TxDOT Dallas District Engineer Ceason Clemens break ground on the second phase of the I-30 expansion project.
(TxDOT photo)

With a scenic view of Lake Ray Hubbard as the backdrop, the Texas Department of Transportation and the city of Rockwall marked the start of construction on the second segment of the Interstate 30 expansion project. Local and state leaders gathered with shovels in hand to officially break ground on the highly-anticipated improvements.

The TxDOT project is widening the interstate and making improvements from Garland to the Hunt County line. Over the lake portion of the interstate, crews will widen I-30 from six lanes to eight, add one-way frontage roads, bridge construction and reconstruct the Horizon Road interchange.

The $334 million project is a priority for TxDOT's Texas Clear Lanes program, which focuses on the most congested roadways in Texas.

Everyone involved in the project shares a consensus of how essential this expansion will be for the area.

"All too often, major crashes on the I-30 bridge over Lake Ray Hubbard have resulted in major congestion," said Texas Transportation Commissioner Robert Vaughn. "Paired with a booming population and increased roadway usage, this important stretch of I-30 needed a smart solution to help get folks to where they're going safely."

Segment two of the I-30 expansion project extends across the lake from Dalrock Road to State Highway 205. It also will build continuous frontage roads from SH 205 across Lake Ray Hubbard, additions that will dramatically improve reliability during major incidents.

The widening of this highway comes amid significant growth in the region. Rockwall County has consistently been named one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation. With I-30 serving as a major east-west corridor, the added population and commerce means more commuter traffic and congestion.

Rockwall Mayor Kevin Fowler expressed his gratitude for the work being done to ease that congestion and keep traffic flowing into and out of the city.

"I-30 is of extreme importance to Rockwall and specifically to the longevity and financial wellbeing of our city," said Fowler. "This road is how people travel from other counties to patronize our businesses and contribute to our prosperity. We thank TxDOT for making us a priority and for ensuring, through this expansion, that Rockwall will grow and prosper for many years to come."

The I-30 project marks a long productive partnership with a number of local partners and stakeholders in the county, including County Commissioner Dennis Bailey.

"For the past 20 years, Rockwall County has strived to build a strong partnerships with TxDOT as well as our other regional partners," said Commissioner Bailey. "With the passage of the 2004 and 2008 bond programs, Rockwall County was able to prioritize the four interchanges, years ago, that are not only critical to our economic success, but the key to unlocking the funding for the I-30 project under construction today and more in the future."

Segment three of the I-30 expansion project is expected to begin in late 2023. The entire project is anticipated to be complete by 2027.

Segment one started two years ago from Bass Pro Drive in Garland to Dalrock Road. This latest phase will impact the next section of the lake bridge between Dalrock Road and State Highway 205. The project was awarded to Williams Brothers Construction Co. Inc. for approximately $334 million.

"It's not every day that we build bridges across the lake," said Ceason Clemens, Dallas District engineer of TxDOT. "So that definitely takes a little bit longer and a little bit more specialty workers. But it's something that we've done and we can tackle this one as well."

If everything goes as planned, there will be a total of three continuous work zones along I-30 from Bass Pro Drive in Dallas County to the Hunt County line. The third segment is expected to begin later this year.

"We do ask for drivers' patience," said Clemens. "We're going to have a lot of work going on. We're going to have a lot of people out there on the roads working, so stay off your phones. Slow down."

Growth, Demand

According to the U.S. Census, Texas' population grew by 470,708 last year, the largest increase in the country. From 2010 to 2022, more than nine million people moved to the state.

Rockwall County was recently named the third fastest-growing county in the entire country in 2021. In 2022, its population grew by 5.7 percent to 123,208.

"That's a significant number of people in a very small area of a 12-mile square that we have," said Rockwall County Commissioner Dennis Bailey.

The area is desperate for an upgrade in accommodating the new residents and commuters.

"We know it's going to come with some growing pains, but we have a further vision of what this construction's going to do for us," said Fowler.

The original lake bridge was built in the 1960s and TxDOT believes the massive population growth in the area has made it inadequate. There are frequent bottlenecks, with commuters stuck in gridlock on the lake bridge even over fender benders.

"A reliever route doesn't exist so you're sitting and waiting until the incident gets cleared," said Clemens.

They hope by adding continuous frontage roads along the lake portion of the interstate and even more main lanes, traffic can still cross the lake if there's an incident.




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