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TxDOT hears public input on proposed IH-30 frontage roads project

(ROCKWALL, TX – June 4, 2018) TxDOT recently held an Open House and public hearing for its proposed IH-30 Frontage Roads Improvement Project at Hella Shrine in Rowlett. TxDOT representatives were on hand to answer questions during the Open House as folks viewed the design schematic for the project, followed by a presentation of the project by North Texas Transportation Systems Director Mike Garrison and Environmental Project Manager Katelyn Kowalczyk.

What’s being proposed
The project involves the construction of a six-lane continuous frontage road system (three frontage road lanes in each direction) crossing Lake Ray Hubbard along IH-30 between Bass Pro Drive and Dalrock Road in Garland, Dallas and Rowlett. The improvements also include the construction of a new bridge at Bayside Drive, a southbound Dalrock bypass, the reconstruction of the interchange at Dalrock Road, and associated ramp modifications. The length of the proposed project is approximately two miles.

The proposed project calls for an eight-foot-wide pedestrian sidewalk to be constructed along the westbound outer lane of the frontage road. A 12-foot-wide shared path would be constructed along the eastbound outer frontage road lane to accommodate both bicyclists and pedestrians.

The project’s new Bayside Drive bridge would consist of five lanes crossing over IH-30, with two lanes traveling southbound and three lanes traveling northbound. The bridge would also include paralleling U-turn bridges consisting of a 24-foot-wide travel lane connecting with the east and westbound frontage roads.  An eight-foot-wide sidewalk would be constructed along the northbound outer lane of the Bayside Drive bridge for pedestrian use, as well as a 12-foot-wide shared use path along the southbound outer lane for bicyclists and pedestrians. Both sidewalks would connect with planned developments north and south of IH-30.

The existing Dalrock bridge would be reconstructed into a two-lane northbound direct connector. A depressed bypass will connect southbound Dalrock traffic to the westbound IH-30 frontage roads, in order to separate the majority of Dalrock Road traffic from the Bayside Drive interchange.

Project timeline and cost
A current let date for the project has construction beginning in March 2021 and is estimated to be completed in approximately two years’ time. An estimated total cost of the project is $138 million.

Why it’s being proposed
During his presentation of the proposed project, Garrison said the purpose of the improvements is to enhance safety, reduce traffic congestion, and improve mobility in the proposed project area.

“The proposed project is needed due to safety concerns resulting from the existing configuration of the IH-30 facility and the project area, as well as the current traffic congestion,” Garrison said. “It has been determined that the existing configuration can cause delays for emergency vehicles attempting to cross from one side of the lake to the other, or access traffic incidents on sections of IH-30 over the lake.”

What people are saying
During the comment period of the public hearing, Garland City Councilman Jerry Nickerson said

he’d like to see the Bass Pro overpass brought into the first phase of the project.

“I would like to have reconsidered the Bass Pro overpass as part of Phase I of the project. That’s a critical component to us as part of our Harbor Point development and our IH-30 Corridor study, and I think with a revision of the budget it could be accommodated into this first phase. Garland itself over the last several years has generated a catalyst study for the IH-30 Corridor. Harbor Point is one of those three critical locations for our area, and we really want to be focused on what we do here on this end as we begin this expansion.”

North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) Program Manager Jeffrey Neal read a statement from NCTCOG during the public hearing stressing the importance of the proposed project in addressing current and future congestive conditions on IH-30 from Rockwall County to eastern Dallas County.

“Any specific trips between, originating from, or destined to adjacent properties at either end of the project will be able to cross the lake without having to use the freeway itself,” Neal said. “The project also includes provisions for exclusive direct access for emergency vehicles between the frontage roads and the freeway, with secured locations on each end so that incidents anywhere along the bridge crossing can be responded to quickly and efficiently.

“Combined together, the project improvements will support enhanced accessibility and increased economic development attractiveness compatible with Lake Ray Hubbard’s emergence as a key tourism destination and quality of life asset.”

Jose Sines, a Garland resident who lives just south of IH-30, questioned the proposed project’s impact on the eastbound IH-30 traffic and concerns to control the speed of cars going along the service roads. “What is the proposed speed limit for this overwater service road? It’s a long distance and cars will probably want to go about 60+ miles per hour, which basically makes it another highway,” he said. “So there will be an increase in the traffic of the people going along that service road at higher rates of speed. If the end result is that we’re just going to put in traffic lights to slow them down, then what have we really done?”

How to make your voice heard
TxDOT invites the public to mail or email their questions and comments regarding the project:

Mailing Address
TxDOT Dallas District Office
Attn: Mr. Jason Estridge, P.E.
4777 E. Highway 80
Mesquite, TX 75150-6643
Email: Jason.Estridge@txdot.gov

Written comments must be postmarked by Friday, June 15, 2018.

Design schematic and environmental documentation for the project are available at the Texas Department of Transportation Dallas District Office. In addition, the schematic may be viewed at www.txdot.gov under Hearings and Meetings Schedule, and at www.keepitmovingdallas.com under Public Hearings and Meetings.

Submitted press release. 

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