Traffic along FM 2499 will likely be backed up for awhile as the DFW Connector project continues, officials said, though steps are underway to help relieve pressure along the major thoroughfare in Flower Mound.
Officials with Texas Department of Transportation and Northgate Constructors offered updates Monday on upcoming construction during the Flower Mound Town Council meeting.
Kristin Stieg with NorthGate Constructors explained FM 2499 is being rebuilt to keep commuters from having to stop at two major intersections – Grapevine Mills Boulevard and Stars and Stripes Way. When both bridges are built, traffic would then move under Grapevine Mills Boulevard and Stars and Stripes Way. Officials plan to open stars and Stripes Way bridge in April after it has been closed for almost a year.The project cost is estimated at $90 million.
What is now FM 2499 going south will become the frontage road, she said. Two lanes each will go both north and south under Grapevine Mills Boulevard and Stars and Stripes Way.
“We’re actually building enough room to add a third lane,” Stieg said of the estimated $90 million project.
In November 2014, TxDOT switched northbound FM 2499 traffic onto new concrete pavement, allowing them to rebuild the new main lanes. In December, Northgate started the Grapevine Mills Boulevard bridge.
Several upcoming project milestones include switching southbound FM 2499 onto the Denton Creek bridge in January 2015, next to northbound FM 2499. Traffic was to be limited to two lanes though TxDOT officials say they are looking for alternative solutions.
Brian Barth, district engineer with TxDOT, indicated plans were being reviewed to try to keep three lanes open but said details were still being worked out.
“We’ll continue to work on those details in the coming weeks,” Stieg said.
Mayor Tom Hayden told officials the traffic back-up has been a concern among residents.
“It’s awful going through there,” he said, adding that in commuting to work along FM 2499, his drive has taken 1 to 1.5 hours both ways.
Hayden said in talking with TxDOT officials, one suggestion was to alter times going to work, either getting up earlier or going in later.
At 7 a.m., traffic is still pretty bad, Barth said. “But at 6:45 a.m., it’s pretty good,” he said.
Timing of signal lights and better planning for barricade placement were two issues town council members asked to be considered.
Updates on the project, slated to be finished in 2017, can be found at www.DFWConnector.com. Residents can sign up for weekly email alerts, which are sent out Friday afternoons.
“We’re working very closely together that anytime we have information, the residents have information,” Town Manager Jimmy Stathatos said.