NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – In a first for Texas, one stretch of north Texas freeway is going to allow you to drive on the shoulder.

It’s the 3-mile stretch of Highway 161 in Irving, from Highway 183 to Beltline that narrows from 3 lanes to 2 – and has caused many traffic headaches due to rush hour bottlenecks.

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“We’re going to go in and use the shoulder so we can have three lanes in each direction.” says Michael Morris, Transportation Director for the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

Morris also says it’s a low cost way to ease congestion as you travel the George Bush Turnpike. “We’re going to stage tow trucks in case there is a break down to clear that incident up right away.”

Morris adds, “It’s a the first time it’s been used in the state of Texas. It’s been successful in other parts of the country.”

The project should be complete in about a year, and signs will let you know when the shoulder is open or closed.

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