Brace for Impact: $166 million didn’t fix I-30 bottleneck

Posted Monday, Feb. 10, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Star-Telegram transportation reporter Gordon Dickson produces Brace for Impact, an online video available at www.star-telegram.com, and other digital products. The report is intended to draw attention to dangerous traffic problems, particularly those pointed out to us by readers.

• If you know of an intersection or stretch of roadway that needs attention, send an email to gdickson@star-telegram.com.

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Three years and $166 million later, why is traffic still backing up on Interstate 30 in Arlington?

The so-called Three Bridges project created a new mobility gateway for Arlington and a new front door for Globe Life Park and AT&T Stadium. But on the west end of the project, near Cooper Street, Lamar Boulevard and Fielder Road, the fancy new road work rejoins the same old I-30 that motorists were accustomed to before the $166 million project.

As a result, six lanes of traffic squeeze into three lanes in a space of about 1 mile.

The Texas Department of Transportation says it’s taking steps to improve the transition.

A $640,000 contract has been awarded so that a crew can expand a westbound transition lane for traffic entering at Cooper and Lamar, providing an extra half-mile before traffic finally has to merge at Fielder Road. That work is scheduled to be completed by Friday, weather permitting.

But Brian Barth, the department’s new Fort Worth district director, acknowledges that it’s a temporary fix that will just buy the state some time, until it can afford to expand the entire I-30 corridor from Arlington to Fort Worth. Those improvements are likely a decade or two away, he said — perhaps longer.

Gordon Dickson, 817-390-7796 Twitter: @gdickson

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