North Tarrant Express News

NTE Announces Early Opening in October

The goal line is within reach as the North Tarrant Express (NTE) project team announced last week that the 13.3-mile reconstructed highway corridor will open and be fully operational in early October – nearly nine months ahead of the original schedule.

“Our project team has been working incredibly hard to complete all of the intersections and bridges, and get the final pavement in place,” said Robert Hinkle, director of corporate affairs for NTE Mobility Partners. “This P3 model and collaborative partnership with TxDOT and the constructor have allowed us to significantly accelerate the construction schedule, so we can deliver this newly rebuilt and enhanced corridor within the next six weeks.”

The project, which began in late 2010, has included the reconstruction of expanded frontage lanes and main lanes and the addition of TEXpress managed lanes, along IH 820 and SH 121/183 between IH 35W in Fort Worth and Industrial Boulevard in Euless.

The NTE project nearly doubles the road capacity with the addition of TEXpress managed lanes throughout the length of corridor. Drivers will have the option to travel along the newly rebuilt general highway lanes and frontage roads at no charge, or enter the TEXpress Lanes, which feature variable tolling with the objective of maintaining a minimum rate of speed of 50 mph.

Extensive signage, including dedicated entrance and exit ramps, will guide drivers safely on and off each segment. (Click here to see an informational video.) Toll rates will be clearly marked at each entrance ramp so drivers can decide if they want to pay to take the TEXpress lanes or use the general highway lanes. The rate a driver sees on the sign will not change for that segment.

Final paving and striping is currently underway throughout much of the corridor, with all major construction activities now completed. Traffic is now traveling in the final configuration on the main highway lanes.

Drive On TEXpress “You Be the Judge” Video Contest Underway

To help drivers become more familiar with navigating the growing network of TEXpress managed lanes and promote the Drive On TEXpress mobile application, the NTE and LBJ Express teams tapped into the creativity of area college students.

The University of North Texas (UNT) Short Film Club in Denton and the North Lake College Video Technology Program/Video Club in Irving both developed 30-second promotional videos for this challenge.

Now it’s up to the public to determine which is the best video.

Drivers aged 16 years and older, students and alumni are encouraged to support these college film and video clubs by visiting the TEXpress website to vote for one of three Drive On TEXpress student videos. The videos are featured on the Drive On TEXpress’ “You Be the Judge” page. (Only one vote will be permitted for each email submitted.)

Voting is open until September 21 at midnight. As an added bonus for participating in the contest, ten “judges” will be randomly selected on Sept. 22 to win a $100 gas card.

“As a continuation of our initiative to support and foster education in North Texas, NTE and LBJ Express are proud to partner with UNT and North Lake College in the efforts to improve mobility in North Texas,” said Belen Marcos, CEO of NTE Mobility Partners. “This also fits perfectly into our ongoing year-long education program to help drivers in North Texas understand how this new way of managing congestion in urban corridors will actually work.”

The Drive On TEXpress App is a mobile application that allows HOV, motorcycles and carpool drivers with a valid TollTag, TxTag or EZ TAG to receive a 50 percent discount on TEXpress lanes during weekday rush hours (6:30-9 a.m. and 3-6:30p.m.). Search “Drive On TEXpress” on Google Play and the App Store or visit the Drive On TEXpress website to register and to claim your discount.

NTE Selected for 2014 Texas Excellence Award

The U.S. Trade & Commerce Research Institute (USTCRI) recently recognized NTE Mobility Partners as a 2014 Texas Excellence Award winner for Excellence in Construction.

Each year the USTCRI conducts business surveys and industry research to identify companies that have achieved demonstrable success in their local business environment and industry category. They are recognized as having enhanced the commitment and contribution of small businesses through service to their customers and community.

According to USTCRI, “NTE Mobility Partners has consistently demonstrated a high regard for upholding business ethics and company values. This recognition by USTCRI marks a significant achievement as an emerging leader within various competitors and is setting benchmarks that the industry should follow.”

Fast Facts on the NTE Project

Here are a few statistics to demonstrate the scope and impact of the NTE project, which is now 97 percent completed:

1,408: number of people currently working in the corridor
177: number of companies that have directly worked on the project
196: number of Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) contracts awarded on the project
41.58 million pounds: amount of rebar tied
4.83 million cubic yards: amount of excavation/dirt moved within corridor
490,000 cubic yards: amount of concrete poured
1.441 billion: total dollars expended to date on the project

Safety in the Zone

With school back in session and construction nearing the end, it is essential for drivers to remain alert in the work zone and continue to look for detour signage and digital message boards highlighting closures.

Please also observe the posted speed limit signs in the corridor, along with those in school zones. To “Know Before You Go,” visit our Lane Closures page on the website.