As soon as this weekend, crews are expected to start drilling the footings for what will be the new southbound bridge of Interstate 35E.
For weeks teams from AGL Constructors have been building barges on the south side of Lewisville Lake to start moving heavy equipment onto the water.
It’s part of the $1.4 billion 35Express project that is fixing up a 30-mile stretch of the interstate from Denton to North Dallas.
Kimberly Sims, public information officer for the project, says the lake bridge is easily the biggest bridge in the project and one of the largest single jobs they will do between now and 2017.
Over the past several days, cranes at the edges of the lake have been placing large, 18,000 pound cased rebar cages into the lake to prepare for drilling.
Sims says once the footings are drilled and columns start being poured commuters will really see the bridge taking shape.
With the additional bridge, traffic over the lake will increase to a 14-lane setup with four main lanes each way, two frontage lanes each way and two managed lanes. The final product is also slated to include a walkway for pedestrians and bikers and the existing tracks for the DCTA A-Train.
Construction of the new bridge is expected to last well into 2016.
Sims says the effect for commuters on the existing bridge should be minimal; as they have tried to make it with the entire project.
"We shift traffic a little bit to the east or a little bit to the west. Commuters may see those traffic shifts, but mostly they should not see a whole lot of more disruption,” said Sims.