By Jennifer Lindgren

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Drivers who travel through north Fort Worth have made it over the hump. Officials on Wednesday announced that the North Tarrant Express highway construction project has reached the halfway mark. Of course, this means that there is still a lot of work to be done.

Head up and down the nine-mile stretch of Interstate-35W and you will see some kind of construction. However, there is now a southbound portion of the highway, just north of the Trinity River, that features new, permanent lanes. This sign of progress offers a glimpse of what is to come.

North Tarrant Express spokeswoman Heather DeLapp stated that the $1.6 billion project is still on schedule, and that drivers should start to see improvements soon. Most of the work is being done in the overnight hours. The plan is for all of the orange barrels to be gone by September 2018.

“That’s a long time,” said driver Damien Waggoner. “Traffic is a monster.”

The Texas Department of Transportation wants drivers to remember that this area has a speed limit of 50 mph, which is there to protect both the highway workers and the motorists. Navigating these construction zones can be tricky, especially when the lanes frequently shift.

“Folks are creatures of habit. When they’re driving out there, they want to go the same way every day,” explained DeLapp. “We are making changes nightly and, sometimes, weekly, and so there will be slowdowns from people getting used to where a new exit may be, or just if there’s a little weave in the roadway.”

The next big shift is happening near Meacham Boulevard, where workers are setting the beams for a flyover. Drivers who want a heads up on lane changes are advised to look for regular updates online.

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