Beginning this week, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will perform a series of traffic switches along the Marsha Sharp Freeway that will open a segment of the freeway's new frontage roads and permanently close off access to and from local streets.
"The traffic switches primarily affect four traffic movements on westbound US 62/82, 29th Drive and 34th Street," said Will Barnett, P.E., TxDOT's project engineer. "Motorists who frequently travel either 34th Street or 29th Drive will see major changes."
Crews will begin by shifting westbound US 62/82 traffic from its current location onto the new frontage road that begins just west of Toledo Avenue and continues to Chicago Avenue.
New traffic signals have been added to both the frontage road intersections at Slide Road and 34th Street. "Once the westbound frontage road shift has occurred, both north- and southbound 29th Drive traffic will no longer have access to travel across the freeway," Barnett said. "That signaled intersection will go away permanently and motorists traveling on 29th will have no choice but to turn onto the frontage road."
The traffic switch will also permanently convert 34th Street, from Slide Road to Bangor Avenue, to a one-way, westbound frontage road. "Thirty-fourth Street west of Slide Road currently carries two-way, east and westbound traffic. After the new westbound frontage road is opened, eastbound 34th Street will no longer directly connect with Slide and traffic will be directed onto the new 34th split at Bangor Avenue," Barnett emphasized.
Frontage road traffic will have the option of continuing west on the new frontage road or turning south and crossing the freeway, under the new 34th Street bridge, to the eastbound frontage road. This intersection will be controlled with a traffic signal.
The traffic switch will also limit the accessibility of Vicksburg Avenue; traffic coming off of or onto Vicksburg will only have access onto or from the eastbound frontage road. Motorists are advised to close pay attention when driving through the area during the coming weeks as the switches take place and the traffic configurations change.
Work will take place weather permitting.
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