Contractors and Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) have crossed the halfway mark for Midtown Express Construction Project, which is the reconstruction of highways 183, 114 and Loop 12 in Dallas and Tarrant counties. SouthGate Constructors hosted a public open house to allow residents to speak with project experts, who showcased the progress on the $847 million project, at Christ Church in Irving on Sunday, May 18.
“As of today we are at 50 percent completion of the project,” said Selma Santin, public information officer for the Midtown Express. “We have one more year of construction left. The project is expected to reach substantial completion in summer 2018.
“According to TxDOT, 183 is one of the most congested roads in Texas, so the addition of these toll roads is going to help alleviate congestion. They are a great addition if people choose to use them. If you choose to use the toll lanes, you are guaranteed at least a drive of 50 mph.
“This is an $850 million dollar interim project. Unfortunately, TxDOT didn’t have enough funds to do the ultimate project, which would have added three lanes.”
Beca Delaoch was impressed by the number of people involved in getting the project this far.
“I had no idea that all of this went into the project and how many employees they have working,” Delaoch said. “Close to 700 people are working on this project and that just blows me away.”
Although the construction on 183 has been troublesome, Delaoch has remained optimistic.
“We have ignored them as much as we can. You have to,” she said. “You have to drive on 183. Every time we go that way something has changed. The thing that scares me the most is when the lanes change and the stripes are still in the middle.
“We were surprised to hear it’s going to be finished earlier than we thought it would. Now they are saying by the fall, and that’s fantastic.”
Lisa Walzl, a representative of TxDOT, indicated the state still plans to build the entire reconstruction project once the funds become available.
“If we were to have built the entire project at one time, it would have cost $2.5 billion dollars,” Walzl said. “We were able to allocate $850 million dollars for this project. We took the funds that were available and we’re building as much of the project as we can at this time.
“The remaining portions of this project, when they are funded, will be constructed. At this time, the funding for the ultimate project hasn’t been identified yet.”