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Traffic Headaches Expected With North Tarrant Expressway Project

By Melissa Newton & Joel Thomas, CBS 11 News
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HALTOM CITY (CBSDFW.COM) – A major Tarrant County construction project could cause problems for drivers.

Beginning Tuesday, all southbound lanes of Highway 377 between Loop 820 and Starlight Drive will be closed, along with the frontage road to Loop 820.

The closure is so work crews can complete extensive utility work.

The Denton Highway 377 will be temporarily reconfigured to one lane, in each direction, until April 29.

Access to eastbound and westbound Loop 820 will remain open, but travelers may experience delays and backups.

“I live right over there,” said Nishan Shrestha as he sat in traffic and pointed at an apartment complex 100 yards away.  That short distance would cost him five more minutes to cover.

For many, this is just the latest hardship from North Tarrant Expressway Construction. The work has cut off most access to many businesses.

An extended stay motel at the corner of Haltom Road and 820 reports business down my 30%.  And even if people can find the motel they’d question staying here.

“Its nerve wracking!” Exclaimed Rosalind Washington, a motel guest.

Washington works a night shift. Just yards away from where she is trying to sleep a huge drill burrows holes into the ground, dump trucks roar back and forth dropping off loads of dirt and cement trucks clang and rumble as the work continues.  There’s no relief for Washington when its time to go to work, either.

“They have these crews that come out at night and they block all of this off and you can’t even get out that way,” Washington said of the intersection allowing access to the feeder road along 820. “And with us working at night? Its an inconvenience!”

The work is part of the $2.5 billion North Tarrant Express Project, which began in late 2010 and is expected to take five years to complete.

The project will include reconstruction of the frontage and main lanes of Loop 820 and the Airport Freeway 121/183.

Crews are also adding managed toll lanes from Interstate-35W in Fort Worth to Industrial Blvd in Euless.

Construction that has 377 narrowed to one lane in either direction is expected to last until late April.

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