Work Zone: Current and future TxDOT projects

TxDOT has several road construction projects underway in Amarillo and despite the public inconvenience, TxDOT says the projects are unavoidable.

"We're maintaining the current infrastructure that we have, and we have to do that," TxDOT Spokesperson Paul Braun stated. "When you spend that kind of money to build the road, you've got to spend the right amount of money and take the right amount of time to maintain that road for the safety of the traveling public and for movement of people and goods that can move freely."

One project is ongoing from last year. Frontage roads and drainage are the focus of the project on Bell Street, which Braun said should be completed early this summer.

"We had to suspend that project during the winter because we're now at the phase where we have to lay down asphalt, hot mix. And you can't do that in the wintertime."

Progress on the Grand Street overpass has been delayed due to fabricated pieces and weather. The intent of the project is to grant safe passage over the BNSF railroad crossing.

"They're hopefully going to pour the deck here pretty quickly," Braun said, "and we want to get traffic on that bridge by, hopefully, the end of April, maybe into May, maybe sooner."

Lane after lane has been closed on I-27 for crack sealing, a project Braun said will continue until no more cracks are found.

"It can take a little bit of time, but it is a moving project. So, you're going to see frequent lane closures in various places."

Some people seem to have been caught off guard by the construction as traffic wrecks have occurred within construction zones. According to Braun, people behind the wheel need to be alert and pay attention to those bright orange signs. He advised drivers not wait until the last second to switch lanes when coming up on a closed lane.

"The company that sets up the traffic control for these projects- they're pros. They know what they're doing. But motorists have to take some responsibility, as well."

TxDOT has released a lane closure report for March 5 through March 11. The closures are as follows:

-On the I-27 frontage roads, expect lane closures in both directions from Loop 335 (Hollywood Road) to Rockwell Road for patching.

-On the I-40 frontage roads, expect lane closures in both directions from Loop 335 (Soncy) to Arnot Road for patching.

-On US 287, expect lane closures in both directions from 15th Street to Hastings for concrete work.

-On Spur 468 (Airport Road), expect lane closures in both directions from 3rd Street to Pullman Road for concrete work.

-On Grand Street, northbound lanes on the east side of the roadway are closed for construction of the new overpass. Traffic is reduced to one lane in each direction on the two west-side lanes from about one-half mile south of 3rd Street to about one-half mile north of 3rd Street. This lane closure will be in effect until the project ends by summer of 2012.