Work installing concrete barriers on I-30 should begin next week

From Staff Reports

Apr. 4, 2007 - Texas Department of Public Safety officials said that motorists should expect even more construction along Interstate 30 beginning next week when work begins on the $8.3 million concrete barrier to be installed between the east and west lanes of I-30 through Hopkins and Franklin counties.

Drivers are cautioned to be alert for what TxDOT says will be “daytime-only, one-lane closures throughout the duration of the project.” At night, all lanes are expected to be open to traffic.

The project is a part of a safety program announced about two years ago by Gov. Rick Perry and the Texas Transportation Commission.

The barriers are designed to reduce the number of crossover head-on collisions along the area’s busiest highway. 

�We just looked at roadways in our area where we had consistent safety problems and what it would take to correct them, and this one just naturally fell out of the equation,� said Ernest Teague, TxDOT area engineer in Sulphur Springs.�

Similar projects using concrete barriers or wire-rope safety fences are being used on many other four-lane divided routes around the state, including a similar concrete barrier project recently begun in Hunt County near Campbell. Sulphur Springs already has a barrier wall running along I-30 through town.

According to Teague, the decision to go with concrete throughout the county was prompted, in part, by the increasing volume and percentage of truck traffic on I-30 east of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

�Every year we have to deal with more and more truck cross-over accidents, and we wanted to make sure that whatever we put out there would be effective at redirecting an 80,000 pound load, the common weight of a fully loaded 18-wheeler,� he said.

�W.W. Weber, LLC, a Houston company which specializes in constructing concrete barriers, was awarded the contract for the project.

��Even though Weber has not worked as a prime contractor in our area, they have worked as a subcontractor doing this type of work on other interstate contracts,� said Teague. �They do good work, and we are looking forward to working with them on this big job.�

�Although the project is to include Hopkins, county residents are expected to get a brief reprieve as work will begin next week at the Franklin/Titus County line and proceed westward to Hopkins County. According to a Weber spokesperson, their operation has the potential of placing well over 1000 feet of wall per day, for a total of just over 195,000 feet of wall through the counties. The contract schedule calls for all work to be completed in December.

The concrete barrier will sit on a four-foot wide asphalt footing near the inside shoulder for one direction of traffic. The barrier will occasionally switch sides to allow for emergency vehicle turnarounds. Construction of the asphalt footing should begin some time next week, weather permitting. After several miles of footing have been placed, the wall construction will begin.

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