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Jeff Smith, NBC 5
NBC 5's Jeff Smith does push-ups in empty HOV lanes on I-30 in Grand Prairie. The lanes are closed for two years due to a construction project.
The high-occupancy vehicle lanes on Interstate 30 between Dallas Arlington are closing for two years for a major expansion.
The HOV lanes from just west of Fielder Road in Arlington to Sylvan Avenue in Dallas will shut down before the morning rush hour on Friday.
The 18-mile project includes building two HOV/toll lanes in each direction, on- and off-ramps and tolling apparatus. The new lanes, which will remain in the center of the interstate with entrances and exits to the main lanes of I-30, will be open 24/7.
The closure of the HOV lanes during the project will add about 1,000 extra vehicles during rush hour, said Michelle Releford, Texas Department of Transportation spokeswoman.
Georgia Hood, who uses the HOV lanes every day while carpooling with co-workers isn't looking forward to the construction.
"What are we going to do?" she said. "What is traffic going to be like?"
Some drivers say the new lanes will be well worth the wait.
"It will help a lot," Beto Franco said. "Traffic will be a lot better."
TxDOT said the expansion is needed because Dallas-Fort worth is not meeting air quality standards, putting federal funding at risk. Auto emissions are the No. 1 reason why the Metroplex is not meeting the standards.
"Anything we can do to keep traffic flowing better so people aren't sitting in traffic, creating all of that exhaust and then taking cars off the road -- everything we do is about taking cars off of the road," Releford said.