North and southbound Interstate 35E near Corinth Parkway reopened to traffic Sunday several hours earlier than expected.
The interstate was closed Saturday night as crews demolished the Corinth Parkway Bridge to make way for construction of the new main lane bridges that will eventually travel over Corinth Parkway.
Now that the Corinth Parkway Bridge has been demolished, the following detours will be in place through summer 2016:
- Northbound motorists wishing to access westbound Corinth Parkway will use Post Oak Drive.
- Southbound motorists wishing to access eastbound Corinth Parkway will use the U-Turn near Exit 459.
Saturday at 8 p.m., crews shut down all lanes of traffic on I-35E at Corinth Parkway as they tore down the bridge that crosses above the interstate.
"It is a closure,” said Project Communications Director Kimberly Sims. “It's about a 24-hour closure so we're asking people for their patience. If they don't have to go out, don't be out because we do expect some heavy traffic along the frontage road."
That’s just the short-term closure on this project. Local traffic will have another, long-term shut down to encounter.
On Saturday morning, the actual Corinth Parkway Bridge closed forever.
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Construction crews are converting that portion to an underpass, and the freeway will be built up and over the local road. That work is expected to be complete in the summer of 2016 at which point crews will move north to the next exit at Post Oak Road and do essentially the same thing there.
While that work is done, drivers will have to go around it on the frontage road, taking the next exit north or south to get to the other side of the freeway and then go down the opposite frontage road to the other side where Corinth Parkway picks back up.
Students at North Central Texas College Corinth on Friday said they were not happy to hear about more delays coming on their daily commute.
"I mean, it's pretty backed up when I take the bridge,” said Victoria Drew from Aubrey. “I'm usually at the light for a good 10 minutes."
However, Sims said the work will be worth the temporary traffic headaches so that, in the end, the roads function much smoother and safer.
The work is part of the ongoing 35Express Project, which has crews working on I-35E from I-635 to Highway 380, and aims to fix up both the interstate and the aging bridges and frontage roads along the stretch.