Motorists planning to travel on U.S. Highway 380 west of Denton this morning may want to seek an alternate route.
At 8 a.m., Texas Department of Transportation workers will close a lane on U.S. 380 at FM156 as a storm sewer is installed as part of a project to widen the highway.
“There will be one lane open for both directions. They will lead motorists through the lane closure with a pilot vehicle,” said Michelle Releford, TxDOT public information officer.
Flaggers will be out as well, letting traffic trickle through a few cars at a time in each direction.
U.S. 380 is being widened from two lanes to six lanes with a median. This phase of the project will cover almost four miles from just west of FM156 to Interstate 35.
The widening will cost about $33.3 million and is being handled by Texas Sterling Construction Co.
Releford said the project just started and is expected to be completed by the summer of 2017.
Funds for the project were obtained in 2011. At first, money for the project had been rerouted in Austin for other projects. But state officials recognized the need for improvements on the often-dangerous highway and worked with county officials to get the money back on track.
The widening was split into two phases. The western section, Phase I, extends from the Wise County line to approximately a half-mile west of FM156, and Phase II extends from just west of FM156 to I-35.
Phase I work was under way before the beginning of the Phase II work, Releford said.
There will be four or five box culverts used for the storm sewer. Releford said similar lane closures can be expected in the future.
“For [today] anyway, this operation is probably going to take nine hours before we will open the highway,” she said. “The contractor is more optimistic than that, but we will plan for nine hours. So if you are headed that way, it would be good to plan an alternate route.”
BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.