Christine Lee, Grand Prairie Reporter
A frontage road along State Highway 161 in Grand Prairie closed ahead of schedule for repairs.
An emergency closure of the busy State Highway 161 frontage road is backing up traffic in Grand Prairie.
The southbound frontage road is closed between NW 19th and Main streets for repairs.
A leak from a drainage line under the frontage road recently became a bigger issue, forcing the emergency road closure.
"During the portion of construction of the permanent retaining wall for the main lanes, some dirt slupped up to the back of the curb on the frontage road, which necessitated us to move up the time table to do that repair work," said Wallace Heimer, North Texas Tollway Authority chief engineer of construction.
Jim Sparks, city transportation director, said the estimated 15,000 drivers who daily use the street would face a delay.
"It will take a little longer to go down 19th Street, because it'll have an additional signal -- really two signals, and then they'd have to go across the tracks," he said.
Guy Carolise, who works at the Kensington Motor Lodge, which is located along the detour route at a busy intersection, said traffic is always a nightmare during rush hour.
"They try to rush across the street, it gets crazy," he said. "They blow on horns; I mean, I'm scared somebody is going to run up into the parking lot right here."
Heimer said city workers made changes to the signal timing to accommodate the detour route. But Carolise feared they could lead to bigger backups.
"They're already agitated because they want to get home from work, and now you've got these lights that is lasting longer, and it's just going to make them more agitated and make them want to run the lights and cause more accidents," he said.
The NTTA expects the southbound frontage road to reopen in about four weeks.
Heimer said the closure would not slow construction of the SH 161 extension. The main lanes of the highway's extension are still on track to open in mid-October.