Construction begins on new direct connect bridges at Sam Rayburn Tollway/Dallas North Tollway Interchange

Construction on the new Sam Rayburn Tollway (SRT)/Dallas North Tollway (DNT) interchange in the cities of Frisco and Plano is set to begin now that the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) has issued the formal notice to proceed on the project.

Williams Brothers Construction Company Inc. of Houston, the NTTA’s contractor, will begin moving dirt in the coming weeks on the $79.4 million construction project, known as Segment 5 of the SRT.

Crews will add a fourth and fifth level to the existing three-level SRT/DNT interchange, constructing eight direct-connect bridges between the SRT and DNT to link the two facilities. The NTTA will also make local access improvements between the SRT/DNT main lanes and frontage roads.

“When the new interchange opens to traffic motorists will no longer have to exit the DNT and then take the frontage road to access the SRT main lanes, or vice versa, as they currently do,” said Elizabeth Mow, NTTA director of project delivery, in a written statement. â€śThe new fully directional interchange will allow traffic to continuously flow through the busy area, further improving regional mobility.”

The interchange is expected to open in January 2012. Area motorists and businesses will first notice crews working in the southwest quadrant of the interchange, drilling support shafts where new bridge columns will be constructed. That work is expected to begin shortly.

As construction progresses, passersby will also notice bridge construction on the SRT, to the west and east of the DNT. Early work will also include constructing a new southbound DNT exit to Legacy Drive. Crews will eventually build new direct-connect bridges in the core of the existing interchange and along the DNT main lanes and frontage roads.

“Construction of a new interchange in an already-busy area is going to affect the current flow of traffic on occasion, so we appreciate the public’s patience,” said Mow in a written statement. “The NTTA is committed to minimizing the impacts on motorists and businesses. That’s why we have put in place an aggressive, 23-month construction schedule with plans to limit complete closures of the main lanes to weekends only.” —Tina Grady Barbaccia