Grapevine freeways closing to fix markings damaged in ice storm

02/28/2014 3:12 PM

02/28/2014 3:25 PM

The $1 billion DFW Connector is one of the biggest highway projects in Texas history, but it’s not immune to damage from ice storms.

This weekend, crews in Grapevine will close lanes as needed along the DFW Connector’s Texas 114/121 corridor to repair highway markings that lost their adhesion to the road in early December, when North Texas was covered with a thick blanket of ice.

The markings are painted onto the pavement — or, more accurately, they’re melted on like a giant iron-on sticker — to help motorists figure out which lane they’re supposed to be in. The markings have the same coloring and shieldlike shape as highway signs.

“In almost all directions of 114 and 121, there were damaged highway shields on the concrete pavement,” DFW Connector spokeswoman Kristen Stieg said. “They basically come in puzzle pieces. You put the pieces together, and they have a big machine that goes on top of it and presses it into the ground so all those pieces melt together.”

The 8-mile-long project was substantially completed late last year by the main contractor, NorthGate Constructors, and is expected to be handed over to the Texas Department of Transportation soon for final acceptance.

Meanwhile, crews have been doing touch-ups, landscaping and other work.

Another phase is beginning along the Farm Road 2499 corridor where Grapevine and Flower Mound come together.

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