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Racing, basketball, rain in DFW could create perfect traffic storm

Motorists should avoid Texas 114 Monday afternoon in the vicinity of Interstate 35W, where NASCAR fans departing a race at Texas Motor Speedway likely will be mingling with afternoon commuters.

In Arlington, commuters along the Interstate 30 and Texas 360 corridors likely will face challenges near AT&T Stadium, where at least 80,000 people are expected to attend the NCAA basketball championship. The last game of the Final Four is scheduled to begin at 8:10 p.m., but fans likely will begin arriving several hours early to tailgate.

The race, basketball championship and a 30 to 40 percent chance of more thunderstorms Monday afternoon and evening could mean trouble.

In far north Fort Worth, those who normally use Texas 114 may feel the most impact from the NASCAR Duck Commander 500, which started at 11 a.m. Police will reroute Texas 114 lanes in “contraflow” — a traffic strategy that allows lanes on both sides of a road to move in one direction — after the race so motorists who are not leaving the speedway are strongly encouraged to stay away from the area for most of the afternoon.

“All lanes of 114 will be routed eastbound from approximately 2 to 6 p.m., pending weather or other race delays,” Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Val Lopez said in an email.

The Duck Commander 500 was postponed Sunday after the drought-parched region received a long-awaited soaking of rain. More than a half-inch of precipitation was recorded at Dallas Fort Worth Airport.

Motorists traveling westbound on Texas 114 will be detoured north on I-35W to Farm Road 407, then west to Farm Road 156.

Fort Worth police are managing the traffic flow, Lopez said, and motorists who want to check for the latest information before venturing anywhere near the area may follow the police on Twitter @fortworthpd.

Just west of the speedway, at the Northwest school district main campus, officials from several police agencies will be on hand to help minimize problems with school traffic, Fort Worth police spokesman Daniel Segura said in a news release. Agencies involved include the school district, city police in Fort Worth, Northlake and Roanoke, the Texas Department of Public Safety, state transportation department and the Denton County Sheriff’s Office.

Extra officers are assigned to assist with school bus access during pick-up and drop-off times on school bus routes, and no major delays are expected for Northwest schools, the Fort Worth news release said.

Staff Writer Terry Evans contributed to this report.

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