Highway interchange still causes problems at rush hour

In December 2013 the Texas Department of Transportation completed construction on the main lanes where SH 114 intersects with SH 170 that affect traffic in Westlake, Trophy Club and Roanoke.

The intention of the $33 million, 1.6-mile project was to improve safety and allow for both eastbound and westbound traffic to flow more freely at the intersection of Business 114 between Byron Nelson Boulevard and Lois Street Bridge and continuing beyond Trophy Club Drive.

However, some Community Impact Newspaper readers have expressed concern that the situation has not improved since the construction and have even said it has gotten worse, especially at rush hour times.

One reader explained the backup is instigated by there being five or less onramps within a 2-mile span that enter the two freeway main lanes. In the congested area, there is one exit-only lane. Heading southbound towards SH 170, a reader said the exit-only lane is just a single lane and can slow drivers to a crawl to get over the bridge and merge onto SH 170.

Both TxDOT and the three cities affected by the interchange are aware of the problem. The department met with the three mayors and Denton county representatives Feb. 11 to discuss traffic concerns and brainstorm potential solutions, Westlake Public Works Director Jarrod Greenwood said.

He said the interchange forces drivers to quickly weave into traffic on SH 114.

"It just makes for a dangerous situation," he said.

Greenwood said TxDOT has discussed options of restriping and repainting lanes to allow for an easier traffic merge as well as plans to add another lane.

"If it makes sense to add an additional lane, then obviously we would very much support that," Greenwood said. "What we don't want is to add a third lane and then have a new set of problems."

TxDOT spokeswoman Michelle Releford said the department has made it a priority to find a solution and has begun to develop engineering plans to add a third lane in each direction to the problematic section of the highway.

She said construction is not yet funded but a schematic is in the works, and with the public involvement process to begin soon, TxDOT is confident that funding will become available as the planning process finishes.

"It looks feasible that a project could go out for bids in about 18 months," Releford said.

There is still construction along the SH 114 corridor as changes are made in sections, resulting in a variance from two to three eastbound lanes throughout the Trophy Club and Roanoke areas, Releford said.

"This is an unfortunate consequence of the ultimate build-out of SH 114. Like building a house, everything doesn't get built at once."


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