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Left-lane exits going away as part of North Tarrant Express work

Posted Feb. 9, 2016

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freeway
An aerial photo taken in December shows construction progress on Loop 820 east of I-35W, looking east.

The North Tarrant Express project achieved another milestone in late January: the opening of a new direct connector from westbound Loop 820 to southbound I-35W.

Instead of exiting left, motorists now exit to the right and continue onto southbound I-35W. The previous direct connector is now closed.

“The opening of this new direct connector represents a major milestone in the life of this project,” said Heather DeLapp, regional public relations manager for North Tarrant Infrastructure, the project builder.

Over the next two years, all left-hand exits on I-35W and Loop 820 will be changed to right-hand exits. Upcoming replacements include the left-lane exit from eastbound Loop 820 to northbound I-35W; the left-lane exit from northbound I-35W to westbound Loop 820; and from southbound I-35W to eastbound Loop 820.

Highway engineering experts say left-lane exits, once a popular design technique, are more dangerous than right-lane exits.

The work is part of the $1.4 billion North Tarrant Express I-35W project. This includes a section that is currently ranked sixth on the state’s most congested roadway list along 6.5 miles of I-35W from north of I-30 to north of Loop 820, including the I-35W/Loop 820 interchange in north Fort Worth. The project includes reconstructing main lanes and adding TEXpress managed lanes.

View how the project has progressed:

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