The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez today joined state and local officials at the opening of the DFW Connector, the $1 billion road project designed to help drivers navigate better and avoid congestion as they travel to and around the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The DFW Connector received $260 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the largest highway investment from the Recovery Act. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the project created more than 500 jobs and was finished nine months ahead of schedule.
“The DFW Connector is built to reduce congestion and get people into, around and out of the airport faster and safer,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This project saved time and money, and it is built to serve residents and visitors in the Dallas/Fort Worth area well into the future.”
By finishing nine months early, the DFW Connector project reduced the amount of time and fuel spent in traffic in and around the airport, as well as potential delays caused by construction. By using the design-build project delivery method—an Every Day Counts innovation supported by FHWA and used by states to get contractors and suppliers involved in the early stages of the project—the four-year project was finished in almost half the time it would have taken using a design-bid-build construction approach.
The DFW Connector makes driving safer by reconstructing five highway interchanges, substantially reducing weaving and merging. The project doubles the number of lanes available to motorists who travel on the highways and provides direct connect ramps where none previously existed. Without the ramps, motorists could have expected delays of up to 10 minutes at traffic signals in each direction. The project also features managed toll lanes designed to keep traffic moving at 50 mph at all times and other roadway improvements that will reduce congestion for the 180,000 motorists traveling daily on State Highways 114 and 121 and other roads north of the airport.
“Time is money, and Texas is saving taxpayers both with the DFW Connector,” said Mendez. “When it comes to building a model of transportation efficiency, the Lone Star State has done it faster, with a world-class transformation of highways that has raised the bar on project delivery.”