Christine Lee, NBC 5 Irving Reporter
Irving has been working with the property owners to take advantage of the opportunities that lay ahead along the S.H. 183 corridor that's set for expansion next year.
The Airport Freeway expansion in Irving begins next year, but the City of Irving is already looking for opportunities to take advantage of the land along the State Highway 183 corridor.
Empty plots of land in the area could soon become hot commodities. Sitting right next to Airport Freeway, the City of Irving hopes future developments like the proposed Southgate Plaza and Passport Park could lead to a huge economic boost.
"We've created a special zoning district to encourage retail, office, and entertainment type uses. And as the project goes forward we'll be working with property owners to take advantage of that opportunity," said Steven Reed, Assistant Director of Development Services for the city.
Earlier this summer Texas Department of Transportation crews completed a precursor project on S.H. 183 which helped set the stage for the big expansion.
"The project is approximately 9.3 miles along 183. It will be built in phases. The ultimate configuration of the project will cost approximately $1.8 billion dollars," said TxDOT spokesperson Lisa Ball.
TxDOT is currently accepting requests for proposals. Ball said the Airport Freeway is a primary artery for the City of Irving with about 170,000 motorists passing through every day. Much of the land around S.H. 183 is owned by Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
But since half of the airport property sits in Irving, Reed said the city has a tax-sharing agreement with DFW Airport. He also said more traffic in the area from future developments will have a positive impact for Irving.
"We see that as an opportunity for an economic impact to spread into Irving itself. As you get more traffic, more customers come to that area, they're going to be coming to the Irving restaurants as well," said Reed.
Construction on the S.H. 183 widening project could begin as early as late 2013.