DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — The city of Dallas hopes to reopen some of its major north-south roads shut down by the EF-3 tornado that slammed parts of the city this weekend.
Harry Hines Blvd., Marsh Lane, Midway Road, Inwood Road, Preston Road and Hillcrest Road remained closed between Walnut Hill Lane and Royal Lane.
Assistant City Manager Majed Al-Ghafry told CBS 11 that he hopes to have both north and southbound lanes of Hillcrest reopened Thursday, along with the northbound lane of Preston, and a good portion of both Inwood and Marsh.
To make that happen, the city had teams of crews cutting and collecting debris that Sunday night’s twister shredded and scattered.
In all, the city has seven teams working with Oncor’s crews along the major thoroughfares, who are restoring power.
Dallas police directed traffic in some of the key intersections after the tornado knocked out a total of 160 traffic signals — of which 20 need to be replaced.
The city has five teams focused on traffic lights.
“Some of the street lights are damaged beyond repair, so there’s no way for us to do that over the next two or three days. But what we need to do is re-open the roads north and south to have accessibility for the residents,” Al-Ghafry said.
In some cases he said it will take as many as 12 to 16 weeks to replace some of the traffic signals.
During the interim, Al-Ghafry said the city will look at placing temporary traffic lights, having police officers direct traffic, or establish four-way stop signs.
The city of Fort Worth has sent crews to help Dallas, and the cities of Arlington, McKinney and Highland Park. TxDOT have offered assistance as well.
Like other drivers, Mary Mbugua is trying to maneuver through all of the street closures.
“Right now, I’m late and my job right now keeps calling me like, ‘Where are you?’ I’m like, ‘I can’t explain more, I’m on my way.’ It’s just crazy,” Mbugua said.
Because the key north-south streets are closed, many people stayed on the main highways — or at least tried to.
Mark Nevitt said he thought he’d be going to be on the freeway on US-75, but got off it because it was all backed up.
“Now, I’m cutting through the neighborhoods and here I am,” Nevitt said.
Al-Ghafry said as massive as the undertaking is, he understands what residents and business owners are experiencing.
“Our sympathy and support goes to the residents,” he said. “I just want them to know the city of Dallas is with them in this.”