North Tarrant Express Update June 2014

NTE Receives ARTBA Award for Environmental Stewardship; Adds to Award for Community Relations

The North Tarrant Express project continues to garner national accolades, picking up a 2014 GLOBE Award from the American Road and Transportation Builders Association‘s (ARTBA) Transportation Development Foundation. The NTE team had been notified previously that it had received a 2014 PRIDE Award from ARTBA, recognizing excellence in community relations. The project team, including developers Cintra U.S. and NTE Mobility Partners and construction general Bluebonnet Contractors, a joint venture of Ferrovial Agroman U.S. Corp. and Webber Construction, accepted both awards at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C. on June 10.

The 2014 GLOBE Awards is an annual competition to honor and draw attention to private-sector firms and public-sector transportation agencies that do an outstanding job in protecting and/or enhancing the natural environment in the planning, design and construction of U.S. transportation infrastructure projects. In its award nomination, the NTE project highlighted many of its environmental initiatives, including implementation of a Comprehensive Environmental Protection Program that resulted in the development and implementation of an Emergency Management System which identifies, monitors, and minimizes environmental impacts; the successful investigation of nearly 300 parcels to identify and mitigate pre-existing hazardous materials; and the identification of sustainable natural resource solutions during unexpected construction issues.

The NTE team also received recognition locally from General Joe Weber, the new executive director at the Texas Department of Transportation, who commended the team on its leadership in infrastructure development and collaboration.

Pictured in photo (from left to right): Tony Hartzel, Public Information Officer, TxDOT; Robert Hinkle, Director of Corporate Affairs, NTE Mobility Partners/Cintra; Jodi Hodges, Public Information Officer, TxDOT; Brian Barth, Fort Worth District Engineer, TxDOT; Heather DeLapp, Regional Public Relations Manager, Ferrovial Agroman; General Joe Weber, Executive Director, TxDOT

TollTags Key to Savings along NTE

As the NTE moves toward final completion in the coming months, the project team encourages drivers to invest in a TollTag (or TxTag or EZ TAG) to get the biggest savings along the TEXpress managed lanes.

The rates for the TEXpress lanes during peak periods along the IH 820 corridor from IH 35W to the North East Mall interchange through north Fort Worth, Haltom City and North Richland Hills will be $1.45 to $1.95; along the Airport Freeway corridor through Hurst, Bedford and Euless, the peak period rates will be $1.75 to $1.95. The rates will double for vehicles that do not have valid TollTags.

“This is an easy way for drivers to save money as they drive the new TEXpress lanes anywhere in North Texas,” said Robert Hinkle, director of corporate affairs for NTE Mobility Partners, the project developer. “We want drivers to have the best experience possible along the newly expanded tolled highway corridor, not only saving time, but also saving money.”

The TollTags are also valid along North Texas toll roads and other TEXpress managed lane projects including the LBJ Express and the DFW Connector.

To sign up online for a TollTag, please click here. For additional information on the TEXpress lanes along NTE, please click here.

Construction Progress and Upcoming Milestones

The NTE project is now 94 percent completed. Here are a few recent milestones:

  • Final pavement placement on the northbound I-35W frontage roads from Meacham Blvd. to the I- 35W/IH 820 interchange
  • Reopening of the eastbound Norwood Drive off-ramp to SH 121/183
  • Traffic switch onto new TEXpress lanes along westbound IH 820 from the I-35W/IH 820 interchange to Grapevine Hwy. 26

Upcoming activities include:

  • Traffic switch onto new TEXpress lanes along westbound Airport Freeway for one month, causing one-month closures of westbound Murphy Drive on-ramp, Central Drive on-ramp and Bedford Road off-ramp.
  • Placement of the final layer of asphalt on the eastbound and westbound frontage roads from Brown Trail to Norwood Drive
  • Placement of the final layer of asphalt on Norwood Drive
  • Traffic switch onto new TEXpress lanes along eastbound IH 820 from the I-35W/IH 820 interchange to Grapevine Hwy. 26.

Fast Facts on the NTE Project

Here are a few statistics to demonstrate the scope and impact of the NTE project:

1,580: number of people currently working in the corridor
172: number of companies that have directly worked on the project
191: number of Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) contracts awarded on the project
41.24 million pounds: amount of rebar tied
4.72 million cubic yards: amount of excavation/dirt moved within corridor
450,000 cubic yards: amount of concrete poured
1.391 billion: total dollars expended to date on the project

Safety in the Zone

As the project nears completion in the Fall of 2014, there will continue to be a series of traffic shifts and on- and off-ramp closures as contractors place the final pavement along the corridor and tie in frontage roads and cross streets. As a result, it is critically important for drivers to be alert in the work zone and look for detour signage and digital message boards highlighting closures.

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