The Southern Gateway reconstruction project is a big disruption for drivers and people who live along the affected roads.
The $666 million overhaul of Interstate 35E south of downtown Dallas, U.S. Highway 67 and Interstate 20 was planned many years ago. The Texas "Clear Lanes" program helped accelerate the work that is underway now with money from voter approved highway propositions.
"It's really noisy," neighbor Jo Caro said.
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Her backyard once included a small forest that blocked the view of the road and much of the road noise. But she sold that part of her land to the state years ago for this road project.
"I thought it was fair at the time, but for some reason I didn't think it would be this close," she said.
The new, wider road will cut through that section of her former property with additional main lanes on the freeway and feeder lanes that did not exist before.
The project will also ease the notorious Zang curve, where many accidents have occurred over the years. A deck park over the freeway near the Dallas Zoo is planned, as well.
The state purchased four acres of property for the wider road, less than the 12 acres that were suggested earlier. Right of way acquisition began in 2006.
"2019 sounded like forever away. But it's here," Caro said.
The owner’s granddaughter, Mariah Jones, grew up visiting the tree-lined yard that looks very different now.
"We really couldn't see the freeway. The freeway couldn't see us," Jones said. "I feel like with the times changing, it is worth it. But at the same time you do want to keep that feel of your youth."
A sound wall is promised in completion of the product to help screen what is left of Jo Caro's yard. But she said she worried the wall might not be sufficient to keep her home safe from the new, elevated roadway.
"I'm just hoping the wall will be strong enough and high enough for me not to worry about cars flying off," she said.
Drivers will find the Beckley Avenue overpass and several ramps closed along the construction area.
The Southern Gateway project is due for completion in late 2021.