Work in progress

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David Minton/DRC
Construction work continues Wednesday on U.S. Highway 380 west of Denton as part of $50 million in road projects across Denton County designed to improve motorists’ daily travels.
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Ongoing road projects designed to improve commute for motorists

Commuters have more than Interstate 35E construction in their future.

While the ongoing work for I-35E is perhaps getting the most attention, more than $50 million in road projects across Denton County are also designed to improve motorists’ daily travels.

Those road projects — which stretch up, down and clear across the county — include improvements to U.S. Highway 380 west of Denton, to FM2181, FM407, FM1171, FM156 and State Highway 114.

One project will make improvements to U.S. Highway 380 west of Denton, adding left turn lanes and 10-foot shoulders to the roadway to add more surface pavement and mitigate safety concerns for the roadway.

The $26 million project was split into two parts, with Phase I, currently in progress, extending from the Wise County line to approximately a half-mile west of FM156. Phase II will continue from west of FM156 to I-35.

Michelle Releford, public information officer for the Texas Department of Transportation, said ongoing work includes forming and pouring concrete culverts and driveway entrances at the east end of the project.

The construction, being done by Jagoe-Public Co., began in May. It is expected to be completed in January 2015.

Another notable project is taking place west of FM2499 to I-35E in Corinth, on FM2181.

The $23.6 million project includes widening FM2181 from two lanes to a six-lane, divided urban roadway with a median. The contractor on that project is JD Abrams.

“We have gotten the work authorization but haven’t had a pre-construction meeting yet,” Releford said. “We’re waiting for utility relocations to set the start date but it was originally estimated to be substantially complete by the summer of 2015.”

Denton County Commissioner Hugh Coleman said county officials met Monday morning with officials from Upper Trinity Water District on a compromise over whose responsibility it is to relocate utilities for the project. Coleman volunteered some discretionary funds to TxDOT to reimburse them for doing the work to locate the utilities so the project can begin as soon as possible.

Denton County Commissioner Andy Eads, a staunch supporter of transportation improvements in the county, said I-35E is obviously the main north-south connector, but he also touted work on the east-west portions of the county.

“Our other east-west connector is FM407 from Highland Village over to Argyle,” Eads said. “That one will be complete in 2014.”

He said officials are also starting work just south of FM1171 from Shiloh Road to Interstate 35W and State Highway 114 from the Texas Motor Speedway to the Wise County line. He said that construction should be completed in about a year.

Eads said he is looking forward to work on FM156 from State Highway 114 through Justin as well, which is set to start sometime next fall.

“It’s going to really complete our overall grid of mobility improvements,” he said.

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.

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