FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Monday morning’s commute will soon be easier for drivers heading north or south between I-20 and I-30. The newest section of the President George Bush Turnpike, also known as SH161, is scheduled to open October 15.
The 6.5-mile extension is two lanes in both directions, connecting the two heaviest traveled east-west roads in Texas. The project, which included 33 bridges and 12 ramps, took two and a half years and $425 million to build.
The road will be paid for with tolls. The cost to drivers, who travel from I-20 to I-30, will be $1.41. Drivers with a toll tag will pay $.94.
Even those who don’t use it, will likely see some benefit from the turnpike opening says NTTA engineer, Wallace Heimer. “360 traffic may actually see some relief, as traffic migrates from 360 to the new George Bush Western Extension.”
According to the NTTA, the project will open in phases. The first phase, including two lanes in each direction, a four-level interchange connecting I-20 to the Western Extension main lanes, and five of the eight direct-connector ramps at the I-30 interchange will open to traffic by Monday morning.
The following three I-30 direct connectors are scheduled to open in early 2013:
· Westbound I-30 to southbound Western Extension
· Westbound I-30 to northbound Western Extension
· Southbound Western Extension to eastbound I-30
The turnpike will open with an interim speed limit of 70 mph. A study will be conducted to determine the final speed limit.