Webber LLC photo. The three-project highway section starts just north of Corsicana, Texas, and ends at the
Work is under way on three I-45 expansion projects totaling $237 million that cover more than 22 mi. (35 km) in Navarro County, Texas.
The three-project highway section starts just north of Corsicana, Texas, and ends at the border of Navarro and Freestone counties.
Corsicana is located on Interstate 45, about 55 mi. (88.5 km) south of downtown Dallas. The population of Corsicana was 23,770 at the 2010 census.
The projects are known as I-45 North, I-45 South and SH 31 Relief Route.
• I-45 North involves widening I-45 in northern Navarro County. It stretches 8.3 mi. (13.3 km) from 2.1 mi. (3.4 km) south of Business I-45 to Business I-45 north. The price tag is $58.76 million. The contractor for this section of the project is Texas Sterling of San Antonio. Justin Wild is project manager.
• I-45 South includes widening of I-45 in Southern Navarro County. It spans a 14.2-mi. (22.8 km) section of I-45 from south of FM 246 near the Freestone County border to 2.1 mi. south of Business I-45. Cost of the project is $72 million. Webber LLC of Houston, Texas, is the contractor for the $72 million I-45 South project with Nick Wolf serving as project manager.
• The third project is a SH 31 relief route. It stretches from 3.2 mi. (5 km) west of FM 2555 east to 3.7 mi. (6 km) east of I-45. The SH 31 relief route will be a two-lane rural arterial roadway. Its cost is $106 million. Sundt Construction of Tempe, Ariz. is contractor for SH 31 Relief Route. Construction of the relief route has not yet begun.
Crews working on the two I-45 projects will expand I-45 from four to six lanes and reconstruct three major interchanges. They also will install Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).
ITS involves the use of electronics, computers and communications equipment in work zones to collect information, process it and take appropriate actions in the areas of traffic monitoring and management, traveler information, incident management and road safety.
Four New Interchanges Part of Three Projects
Interchanges will be built at I-45 and Business 45 north of Corsicana, at I-45 and Business 45 south of Corsicana, at I-45 and SH 14 in Richland and at I-45 and SH 31 relief route.
The two I-45 widening projects are under way, while work on the relief route starts in October. All projects are slated to be complete by 2020.
The Texas Department of Transportation is overseeing the work. The projects are part of a larger effort to improve I-45 from Houston to Dallas. The highway is considered a major north-south thoroughfare in Texas, and reducing traffic gridlock is a major goal.
“The flow of traffic will improve through Navarro County with the six-lane freeway,” said Michelle Releford, public information officer at TxDOT Dallas District office.
Releford said the improvements could have a positive impact on business development near I-45. “Opportunities for retail development exist along the frontage roads of I-45,” she said.
Interchange, Bridge Work is Under Way
Current work being done includes construction of the I-45 North interchange at North Business I-45, and the South SH 14 interchange. Also, bridge, median and shoulder widening is in progress on I-45 South.
Heavy equipment on site includes trackhoes; dozers; loaders; drilling equipment for bridges; a Gomaco concrete paver and belt placer; a Gomaco 9500 trimmer; Rexcon Model S concrete plant with shrink mixer; and 2 Manitowoc 11000-1 crawler cranes.
I-45 North will require about 245,000 sq. yds. (204,851 sq m) of concrete. I-45 South will require about 400,000 sq. yds. (334,451 sq m) of concrete. An estimate is not yet available for the SH 31 relief route.
Between 15 and 30 workers are on duty each day at the I-45 North project while the I-45 South project employs a daily workforce of 60 to 75 people. Some night work will be necessary including the I-45 South project.
The I-45 North project currently has 21 contractors. Top names include Breda Construction of San Antonio; ACU Construction of Carrolton, Texas; Big Creek Construction of Lorena, Texas; MICA Corp. of Fort Worth and Gibson and Associates of Dallas.
The I-45 South project currently has 17 subcontractors on duty including Big Creek Construction, Renaissance Contracting of Austin; Breda Construction; MICA Corp.; and TexOp Construction LP of Justin, Texas. Material is also brought to the job and moved around the project daily with more than 75 subcontracted dump and bulk tanker trucks.
Subcontractors for the SH 31 relief route have not yet been named.
“Asphalt and concrete will be removed from the project and recycled,” Releford said. “RAP (reclaimed asphalt pavement) will be reused in hot mix for the project and concrete will be crushed to produce flexible base.”
Impacts on Nearby Communities
“Lane closures will cause some traffic delays,” Releford said. “I-45 traffic can follow Business 45 through Corsicana. Closure of bridges north and south of Corsicana and SH 14 in Richland requires traffic to detour to access I-45.”