I-40 construction project delayed due to weather setbacks

I-40 construction project delayed due to weather setbacks
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - A major construction project on I-40 is causing a headache for drivers near Arthur and Ross street.

Construction of both the Arthur and Ross street bridges started in March of 2017. Construction crews have made headway on the project despite setbacks caused by to weather.

Due to an unseasonably wet summer and early fall in Amarillo the project experienced delays.

Construction crews are currently working to install a series of retaining walls along the freeway. The new retaining walls will help to secure the new bridge when it's put in place.

However, some residents who live around Arthur and Ross street and use the roadways daily are upset about the time it is taking the project to be completed.

Amarillo area TxDOT spokesperson Sonja Gross said the amount of time it takes happens because some construction projects take more time than others.

A comparison of bridge construction is being drawn between the Arthur and Ross street projects and the bridges built in Bushland and at Bell street.

TxDOT said the both the Bushland and Bell street projects were just to replace bridges themselves.

The scale of the project dictates whether it can get fast-tracked or not.

"We were very fortunate with Bushland and Bell that the nature of those construction jobs [allowed us] to do an accelerated construction timeline," said Gross. "But that was all we were doing was replacing bridges."

With projects like Arthur and Ross street, Gross said crews are doing more than just replacing bridges.

"In addition to replacing the bridges, we are going to be putting in a lot of ramp improvements, some curb and gutters that make it an overall better experience for the driver and the rest of the traveling public," said Gross.

Bridges along I-40 were built when the interstate first came through 50 years ago.

The size of modern semi-trucks and their payloads have increased substantially since the bridges were initially built. For example, large trucks that carry wind turbine blades.

Roadways have also seen an increase in the volume of travel on a daily basis.

"We're talking about bridges that are going to need to be able to carry that extra weight, that extra width, that extra height. They can't do that right now," said Gross. "That is why it is incredibly important we finish these bridge projects so that way we don't impede the progress of the transportation of goods and services across state lines."

An original timeline for the project slated construction to take until February of 2019.

However, the setbacks and delays have caused the completion date to be pushed back to April of 2019.

TxDOT is urging drivers to remember to always slow down in construction zones. Also check for crews who may be on or near the roadway.

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