Crews began preconstruction activities along Hwy. 183 and I-820 in November as part of the North Tarrant Express Capacity Improvement project, according to a news release.

What’s happening?

The project will add a free, general-purpose lane in each direction along I-820 and a toll lane in each direction along Hwy. 183. Full construction is expected to be underway by mid-2024 with completion anticipated in 2027.

Early construction activity includes installing construction barriers and striping lanes, according to the news release. Most construction activities will occur overnight to minimize disruption to drivers.

The project will cost about $414 million and will be fully funded by toll revenues collected from NTE TEXpress Lanes.

What the experts say

When the project is completed, drivers should see an immediate improvement in congestion, said David Schrank, senior research scientist at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. That feeling may ebb over time as more people move to the area and economic activity increases.

“Texas has this good problem in that a lot of people are moving to Texas,” he said. “So there is additional demand that will be coming that isn’t in the DFW area today.”

The transportation institute published a new report Nov. 28 listing the state’s 100 most congested roads in 2022. The Dallas-Fort Worth area counts 39 roads, including Hwy. 183 and I-820, among that list.

Added capacity typically improves a road’s reliability when it comes to travel time, Schrank said. It may also benefit the roads around the corridor because the additional capacity will invite more drivers, he said.

“Nothing happens in a vacuum,” Schrank said.

The background

The project is part of a public-private agreement between the Texas Department of Transportation and NTE Mobility Partners. The agreement called for capacity improvements when traffic counts reached a certain level.

“That threshold has been met almost eight years ahead of projection," NTE Mobility Partners CEO Jose Espinosa said in a statement. “This is an exciting project that will continue to provide mobility innovation and congestion relief to one of the fastest-growing regions in the country.”

Webber and Ferrovial Construction are leading design and build services on the project as a joint venture named North Tarrant Infrastructure.