The Texas Department of Transportation begins work Monday on the reconstruction of the bridge and intersections at University Drive (FM60) and Harvey Mitchell Parkway (FM2818). The project will address congestion and improve safety at the intersections and the entrance and exit ramps.
The $13.8 million project is expected to take about 25 months to complete and will result in the third Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) in Texas. The others DDIs in Texas are on I-35 in Round Rock and San Marcos.
University Drive closed during spring break
University Drive from Research Parkway to Turkey Creek Road will be completely closed from midnight Friday, March 10, until 6 a.m. Monday, March 20, to allow for full-depth pavement reconstruction. To reach Easterwood Airport’s main terminal, motorists should access Turkey Creek Road from HSC Parkway or F&B Road.
“The depth of the excavation and the allowable space across the bridge — in addition to the multiple interchanges in the area — would make it very difficult to safely construct with adjacent vehicles at highway speeds,” TxDOT’s Bob Colwell said. “The alternative is several weeks of nighttime closures that would result in higher project cost and more traveler delays.
“While inconvenient to drivers, the short-term closure during spring break will allow our contractor to reconstruct the pavement more efficiently while providing added protection for drivers and the worker. We thank everyone for their patience.”
Here’s TxDOT’s video simulation that illustrates how the new interchange will work:
Suggested Detour Routes:
- Normal Westbound FM60
- Westbound FM60
- Normal Eastbound FM60
- Eastbound FM 60 Route
- Normal Northbound FM 2818 to Westbound FM 60
- Northbound FM 2818 to Westbound FM 60
- Normal Northbound FM 2818 to Eastbound FM 60
- Northbound FM 2818 to Eastbound FM 60
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In the early 1990s, the city worked closely with Texas A&M to develop the Go With the Green Plan to move traffic in and out of the area after football games. The plan has worked well, but the rapid growth of the city and the university – not to mention all the new visitors from the SEC – means it must be tweaked and updated.
Few things are more frustrating than getting caught in congested traffic, especially when it’s caused by inconvenient construction projects. However, when the dust eventually settles, the benefits of these necessary projects quickly become evident.
That’s certainly the case with the University Drive Pedestrian Safety Project, which will greatly enhance the safety of students and other pedestrians in the Northgate area. For more than three years, the City of College Station has worked closely with Texas A&M and the Texas Department of Transportation on the project. Thankfully, the first phase — which stretches from Wellborn Road to Tauber Street – is expected to be finished in the next two weeks.
Pavers are being installed on the new College Main Plaza, and traffic control devices will be removed in the next few days. Next week, retractable bollards will be installed at the College Main-University and College Main-Patricia Street intersections, along with new pedestrian signals at Boyett and University.
Have you ever asked that question while sitting at a red light? Traffic signals are frequent targets of verbal abuse, especially when they are on the blink (pun intended!). And you always seem to catch that red light when you’re late for an important appointment.
How hard can it be to make these things work right, anyway?
Keeping our traffic lights maintained and operating efficiently is a bigger job than you might think. The City of College Station’s Traffic Division maintains and operates 70 traffic signals, 50 pedestrian/school zone flashers, more than 12,000 traffic signs and over 100 miles of long-line pavement markings.
RUMOR: “Rumor has it that part of the Barron Road expansion will include blocking cars from turning left onto Barron from Springmist Drive. This would cause more traffic in front of the new school and the intersection of Barron and Victoria, since people in Westfield Village would be forced to either go around and turn left from Victoria, or take Barron to Hwy 40.”
– Submitted by Patrick Dexter, College Station
TRUE: The Barron Road Widening Phase 2 project will include a raised median across Springmist Drive, which will prevent any left turns entering or exiting Springmist Drive.
FACTS: This drive is too close to the proposed signalized intersection of Victoria Avenue and too close to the left turn bay for Victoria Avenue to allow an opening in the median. Such an opening would encourage an unsafe turning movement onto an arterial roadway that carries traffic between SH 6 and SH 40. In addition, traffic from the Westfield Village Subdivision has access to both Victoria Avenue and Newport Drive, both of which have full access to Barron Road. The signal at Victoria also will be a more efficient and safer way to travel north, and area residents are encouraged to use it.
SOURCE: Daniel Beamon, P.E, Assistant City Engineer
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