Mola Lenghi, Arlington Journalist
Cooper Street in Arlington undergoes several upgrades that will last approximately 18 months.
A major Arlington roadway is about to undergo a major upgrade.
The Texas Department of Transportation is preparing to resurface Cooper Street with a skid-resistant topping and add raised-curbed medians.
“A raised-curbed median provides for orderly movement of traffic, and it makes traffic more predictable," TxDOT spokesman Val Lopez said. "We have studies that suggest that head-on collisions are reduced by 40 percent when you replace a continuous left-turn lane with a raised curbed median."
Meanwhile, the new skid-resistant surface will be ideal for wet days
“It's something that improves traction on the roadways," Lopez said. "It makes for safer driving conditions in bad or inclement weather, and it's something that we're using more and more."
Construction will be focused between Arkansas Lane and Mitchell Street -- a main thoroughfare through central Arlington that includes access to the downtown area and portions of the University of Texas at Arlington campus.
Because of the high volume of traffic on Cooper Street, TxDOT plans to work during off-peak hours -- during the daytime between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. -- to avoid rush hour and affecting businesses.
Lopez said crews will also work at night on what's expected to be a roughly 18 monthlong project.
“It will be a small inconvenience for a little while for what’s going to be a safer and much-improved roadway to drive on," he said.
Construction is set to begin as soon as funding is in place for the project. Lopez said TxDOT is confident funding will be secured.