The $798 million Dallas "Horseshoe" Project is starting to take shape, six months after construction began.
“We’re getting comments from people wanting to know what we’re building, what’s going on, how its going to affect traffic," said project spokesperson Katrina Keyes.
A critical ramp closure will send drivers on detours through busy city streets, among them emergency medical transporters trying to reach Methodist Dallas Medical Center on Colorado Boulevard.
“Methodist Medical Center Dallas is a critical trauma center and a big facility to which we take thousands of patients a year," said James Swartz, president and CEO of CareFlite.
The ramps to and from Interstate 35 North and Colorado Boulevard will be closed for up to a full year, starting in mid-April.
“They’re going to have to use detours, mostly using 8th street," Keyes said.
Dispatchers at CareFlite are already preparing for the traffic delays and planning ahead for the time paramedics are forced to navigate busy city streets.
“We’re in a business when its an emergency in which every minute counts," said Swartz. “So, then we have to consider is the patient better served by flying them if they’re really sick, are there alternative ways to get the patient from one place to another."
Traffic delays caused by road construction are nothing new in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and CareFlite is confident it will find a way to work around this one.
“We have to work around it, we have to. And whatever impact it has, its CareFlite’s job to minimize that impact and protect the patients that we have to transport," Swartz said.
Here is detailed list of detours during the construction.
Drivers who want more information about the Dallas Horseshoe Project can visit www.dallashorseshoe.com.
The project also wants the community to stay up-to-date on the latest closure information via social media. Check out these tools provided by the project.
- Text alerts: sign up by texting "dallashorseshoe" to 31996
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/dallashorseshoe
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/dallashorseshoe
- Mobile app: "Dallas Horseshoe" with up-to-date closure and project event info available for download at the Apple iTunes and Android Google Play stores