Work on SH 183 Drainage, Sound Barrier Wraps Up

Major widening of highway expected to start next year

Preparations for a major widening of state Highway 183 are wrapping up.

Crews have been working on a $7 million project south of 183 from Belt Line Road to just east of Story Road for nearly a year.

Texas Department of Transportation spokeswoman Michelle Releford said the project fixed a flooding issue and added sound buffering for the neighboring areas for when the 183 widens.

TxDOT said minor work in the area will continue until August, but all lanes should reopen in the next couple of weeks. But drivers shouldn't get too comfortable -- work on the multibillion-dollar extension of 183 should begin next year.

A lane of the eastbound Frontage Road just east of Story Road recently reopened. It was closed for months while crews installed a much-needed storm water drain.

"When the big project -- the big 183 project -- starts, it won't continue to add to that flooding problem because now we've alleviated that," Releford said.

A sound-buffering wall was built along Frontage Road south of 183, keeping much of the noise away in adjacent residential neighborhoods.

John Mefford, who lives right next to the construction, said noise has not been an issue since the wall was built. He also said the temporary inconvenience was not an issue, especially when looking at the big picture.

"New businesses are going to be coming up, and the whole area will be a lot better than before. Maybe new shopping centers or things like that," he said.

Business is slowly picking up at the Exxon station on Story Road and Airport Freeway. Manager Suhasini Bojja said sales dropped from 4,000 gallons per day to between 500 and 700 gallons per day when construction blocked off the frontage road.

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