Tablet Local

Stretch of West Freeway to be closed Saturday night in Fort Worth

Good thing TCU isn’t playing a home game this weekend.

Weather permitting, all lanes of Interstate 30 will be closed from 9 p.m. Saturday until 7 a.m. Sunday in west Fort Worth as workers put the finishing touches on the Chisholm Trail Parkway toll road.

The closure will extend from Summit Avenue to University Drive, a busy stretch that leads to the TCU campus.

But luckily — at least for football fans — the ninth-ranked Horned Frogs will be in Waco facing fifth-ranked Baylor. Of course, traffic on Interstate 35W is always a bear.

The shutdown is necessary while workers pour bridge decks for the connection from westbound I-30 to Chisholm Trail Parkway, according to officials at the North Texas Tollway Authority, the agency responsible for the toll road.

Potentially heavy rain was in the forecast for Friday night and early Saturday throughout North Texas. Even with the wet weather, the I-30 closure and the bridge work can press forward, as long as the rain subsides by Saturday evening, said Elizabeth Mow, the authority’s assistant executive director for infrastructure.

A little mud won’t be enough to stop the bridge work, mainly because the tasks are taking place over already-paved areas, she said.

“They’ll be doing some work on the ground, but most is up in the air,” Mow said.

Detours will be posted, but motorists should expect delays.

Construction delays have pushed back the agency’s plans to fully open Chisholm Trail Parkway, a 28-mile toll road connecting downtown Fort Worth to U.S. 67 in Cleburne. The main lanes opened in May, even though crucial connections at I-20 and I-30 weren’t ready.

The bridges over I-30 in particular were delayed by a $900,000 mistake involving faulty beam design. But since that error was publicized during the summer, gradual progress has been made, officials said.

The direct connector ramps at Chisholm Trail Parkway are nearing completion, Mow said. A ramp connecting the southbound parkway to westbound I-20 is scheduled to open this weekend, and another ramp connecting westbound I-20 to the northbound toll road is scheduled to open next weekend.

New ramps at Arborlawn Drive recently opened.

The agency now aims to open the I-30 connections by the end of October, Mow said.

Oh, and it was no accident that the I-30 closure was scheduled for a weekend when the TCU football team was out of town, she said. The tollway authority coordinates with officials at local attractions to time lane closures so they’re less intrusive.

“We coordinated around Boo at the Zoo,” Mow said, referring to the annual Halloween-related event at the Fort Worth Zoo, scheduled for Oct. 24-26. “We meet with the rodeo people every year — everything you’ve got.”

I-30 CLOSURE

• Detours are posted for I-30 traffic that arrives in west Fort Worth during the freeway shutdown, which is expected to begin at 9 p.m. Saturday and continue through 7 a.m. Sunday.

• Eastbound traffic will be detoured to the Summit Avenue/Cherry Street/Lancaster Avenue/Eighth Avenue exit. Police will direct traffic back to eastbound I-30 by using the Chisholm Trail Parkway/I-30 entrance ramp near Summit Avenue.

• Westbound traffic will be detoured to the Summit Avenue exit, then directed to the I-30 frontage road. Motorists can re-enter westbound I-30 after passing Forest Park Boulevard.

• For more information, visit the North Texas Tollway Authority at www.ntta.org.

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