The DFW Connector is a Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) project “dedicated to improving mobility along 8.4 miles of State Highway (SH) 114 and SH 121 in a safe, efficient, reliable and environmentally sensitive manner”. The $1.02 billion project, to be built without private funds, will rebuild the corridor through Southlake, Grapevine and the north edge of the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.
The project includes the reconstruction and expansion of 114/121 on the north end of Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, one of the busiest freeways in the region. Other highways in that corridor between Southlake and Irving include Interstate 635, Texas 360, Texas 26 and Farm Roads 2499 and 1709. The project will be funded by $667 million in state highway money, $250 million in federal Recovery Act funding and $107 million in bond funding from Proposition 14, which was approved by Texas voters in 2003 to improve mobility statewide. When the toll express lanes open in 2014, drivers on Texas 114/121 can expect to pay 64 cents for a four-mile trip. Existing lanes will remain free.
Motorists traveling through Grapevine during the $1 billion DFW Connector project probably won’t have to worry about navigating closed lanes, at least not during the workweek. The contractor heading up the project has agreed to pay a stiff fee of $8,300 per hour, per lane, in the unlikely event that any lanes must be closed during peak travel periods. Generally, the peak period is 6 am to 8 pm, Monday through Friday. NorthGate Constructors, which last month broke ground on the four-year project, hopes to never pay that so-called lane rental. The free was spelled out in NorthGate’s contract with the Texas Transportation Department. Instead, NorthGate plans to limit lane closures to nights and weekends, deputy project director Rob Anderson said. In most cases, NorthGate won’t be charged for after-hours lane closures.
“Closures will be needed at times, and these closures will be advertised plenty ahead of time,” per Anderson.
For the very latest in project updates, contact TxDot’s Website or call a new toll-free DFW Connector hotline: 877 411-4212.
As the DFW Connector project continues, expect to see more progress as roads and bridges open. However, if you have not done so, please sign up for lane closure and traffic switch notifications at dfwconnector.com so that you are aware of important closure and safety information.