Seth Voorhees

Construction Delays Coming for Major Denton Road Project

The contractor notified TxDOT that the project could be up to six months behind schedule

A major road construction project in Denton is facing major delays. The contractor for a double bridge replacement on Interstate 35E at Loop 288 has told transportation officials the project won't be done until next summer.

The project, part of the widening of I-35E through Denton, was initially scheduled to be done by the end of the year.

In Denton, construction season seems to be measured not in months -- but in years.

"Yeah, there's quite a bit of construction," commuter Mike Wallace said. "A lot of streets being worked on, lot of improvements being made all at once."

In this case, the replacement of two bridges where I-35E intersects with Loop 288. The project will include detours and lane changes in an already congested area. When it's done, transportation officials said it will double traffic capacity in the area.

"It's a necessity," commuter Chris Diggs said. "But it is kind of a nuisance."

The project was supposed to be done by year's end. Now, contractor OHL has notified the Texas Department of Transportation it might not be finished until July of next year.

"Certainly it's a substantial concern to the city of Denton," said Mark Nelson, city director of transportation.

Nelson said the city and county have both taken their concerns to TxDOT. Nelson said the agency is addressing those issues with the contractor. Safety -- of commuters and construction crews -- is the biggest worry. But congestion is a close second.

"The traffic issue creates concerns in terms of how vehicles may not follow the I-35E corridor detours through certain parts of town," Nelson said.

Some drivers said in the meantime, they will avoid the area -- instead of going nowhere fast.

"If you gotta get to work, you gotta get to work," Diggs said. So if you change your route, you change your route."

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