State Highway 183’s long wait for an overhaul is over. Expansion work will begin later this year on the highway that connects Dallas and Tarrant counties as well as dozens of cities to the southern entrance to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. It will be the first time since 1973 that the east-west corridor, also called Airport Freeway, will undergo a substantial upgrade.

The project, which will include upgrades to State Highway 114 and Loop 12, won’t add any new free, main lanes to any of the highways. All of the expanded capacity will come from the toll express lanes. The work is scheduled to be completed in 2018. “It was unfortunately overlooked for quite a few years,” said state Rep. Linda Harper-Brown, whose Irving district includes Airport Freeway.

The Texas Department of Transportation will rebuild 10.6 miles of the highway in Irving and Dallas and 1.5 miles in Euless. It also will add an 18.3-mile toll express lane in each direction from State Highway 121 in Bedford to Interstate 35E in Dallas. The work is part of an $847.6 million contract that the Texas Transportation Commission unanimously awarded Thursday to Southgate Mobility Partners. Southgate also will add toll express lanes on 2.5 miles of Loop 12 and 10.5 miles of State Highway 114, including through Las Colinas.

There also will be minor upgrades to portions of 114 and 183 that aren’t being completely rebuilt. Direct connections from the new 183 and Loop 12 toll lanes will be added. That interchange also will get new direct ramps from eastbound 183 to northbound Loop 12 and southbound Loop 12 to westbound 183. “There are many transportation needs within these corridors,” Ed Pensock, TxDOT’s strategic projects director, told transportation commissioners Thursday. The toll portions, also called TEXpress lanes, will operate with fluctuating prices like the similar lanes on LBJ Freeway and the DFW Connector.

Toll rates will fluctuate based on congestion, with the goal of keeping motorists moving 50 mph or more.

 

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