Since February of last year, the City of Coppell has been working to improve S Belt Line Road.

The project is divided into three phases, with the city working a few lanes at a time, to allow the road to still be used during the reconstruction. The project is currently in its third and final phase, with an estimated completion date of June 2024.

The backstory

South Belt Line Road is a six-lane divided roadway that was originally constructed in 1985. The city has made improvements over the years to extend the useful life of the roadway, but Mike Garza, Coppell’s Director of Public Works, said it was past time for the road to be replaced.

“It’s approaching 40 years old, and it has reached its end of useful life,” Garza said.

In addition to the deterioration of the road over time, Coppell has seen an increase in traffic and development, especially on the east side of S Belt Line Road.

“There's an average volume of about 45,000 vehicles that travel the road on a daily basis," Garza said.

Project details
  • Phase one: the city reconstructed the southbound side of the road; while the southbound side was in progress, all traffic was directed to the northbound side.
  • Phase two: the city moved traffic to the southbound lanes, closing the northbound lanes for reconstruction.
  • Phase three: construction is focused on the section of the road from Hackberry Drive to I-635.
In the original design plan, the project was going to end at the intersection of I-635 and Hackberry Drive, due to traffic control conflicts with TxDOT. The project was scheduled to be completed in June; however, the addition of phase three pushed the completion date back to 2024.

In early 2023, a land developer approached the city and proposed improvements to the vacant property between Hackberry Drive and Dividend Drive. This development necessitated a comprehensive revision of the S Belt Line Road and Hackberry Drive intersection, resulting in the addition of the third phase of the project. This final phase of the project includes the construction of driveways and turn lanes, plus the installation of a new traffic signal at Hackberry Drive.

In addition to repairing the pavement along the full length of the roadway, the city is also including turn lanes, installing traffic signals and updating the storm drain and sewer system, which is located underneath the roadway. The landscaping in the medians along S Belt Line Road have also been updated to reduce the amount of water necessary for irrigation, helping the city achieve its water conservation efforts.

These roadway improvements help the flow of traffic, both for residents of Coppell and people driving through the city on S Belt Line Road.

“We added right turn lanes and left turn lanes at the intersections,” Garza said. “That adds capacity at those intersections to allow folks to make those turning movements either eastbound or westbound, which in turn adds capacity through the intersection to get people to move through town.”

The city offered assistance to businesses located along S Belt Line Road that were affected by the project.

“We issued grants to businesses that were impacted along the S Belt Line corridor to help them out,” Garza said. “We've added additional signage to let people know that businesses are still open.”

Looking ahead

Considering how many people drive on S Belt Line Road every day, the city designed the improvements to last 30 years.

“There are maintenance schedules that we have in place to maintain the roadway and the service level,” Garza said. “For example, every certain number of years we go out and reseal the joints or we seal any cracks, those sorts of things...that's how we maintain the concrete to last longer.”

Coppell residents who want weekly updates on the project can visit this website.

The above story was produced by Multi-Platform Journalist Mary Katherine Shapiro with Community Impact's Storytelling team with information solely provided by the local business as part of their "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team.