Businesses along Highway 183 through Irving are starting to reap the benefits as the Midtown Express Project nears completion.
“We think that this area in particular, because of the construction with the highways, this is going to be the new center of activity”, said Chase Cooley, of the Clay Cooley Auto Group.
During construction, Clay Cooley moved two dealerships next to another at Carl Road.
“They’re completing the construction, it’s all starting to open up, and the traffic is really picking up over here”, said Cooley.
The Midtown Express Project runs through three highways just east of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
Three years after construction started, the portion along 114 is now complete, with the parts stretching along Loop 12 and Highway 183 soon to follow.
“We’re seeing that that project has allowed business industry to reinvest in our community,” said Beth Bowman, with the Irving – Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce.
“We have businesses that are remaining open in Irving, Texas -- expanding, looking forward to welcoming new customers and new business industry coming into our community,” said Bowman.
But many businesses along Hwy 183 in particular didn’t make it, leaving behind empty lots when they moved away after construction started.
“Some are suffering now, but they know just hold on, hold on cause its yet to come, cause this year is the final year,” said Irving City Councilmember Oscar Ward, “they’ll see the rewards of it coming September or October.”
He predicts the Midtown Express Project will transform the Hwy 183 corridor.
“It sure will,” said Ward. “It’s been kind of dying up slowly but surely, but when they expand this, it’s rejuvenated everything along here.”
“It’s fantastic for economic development reasons if nothing else to come thru here," said Ward. "It’s a major arterial to go from Dallas to Fort Worth, but stop in Irving and shop.”
The $847 million Midtown Express Project is about 80 percent complete, and remains on track to be substantially finished by the end of 2018.