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Setting Steel Girders on 635 East
July 27, 2021
Progress on the I-635 East project in Dallas, Texas is moving forward during its second year of construction. With more than three years to substantial completion, Pegasus Link Constructors (PLC), a joint venture between Balfour Beatty and Fluor Corporation, has numerous construction activities underway running concurrently across all three segments of the project.
The $1.74 billion I-635 project owned by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) expands 11 miles beginning just east of US 75 in North Dallas through Garland to I-30 in Mesquite and is one of the most anticipated projects for surrounding residents and commuters.
Built in the 1960s, I-635 was originally designed for a daily traffic capacity of 180,000 cars. With the state’s growing population, this average was expected to reach 260,000 per day in 2022 and it has earned its spot among the Top 30 most congested highways in Texas.
PLC began construction during spring 2020 with the closure of the corridor’s existing I-635 HOV/TEXpress lanes lasting the project duration, main lane restriping, utility locations and installation of new bridge foundations.
In June 2021, PLC installed steel girders for the bridge and future replacement ramp for the existing northbound I-635 direct connector to westbound I-30. Different from the typical concrete beams used for other bridges along the project, the steel girders are used for new bridges that require longer spans or a certain curvature with fewer bents and columns.
The four-girder, two-span steel girder unit extends over 492 feet long – one spanning over the southbound I-635 frontage road and main lanes and the other girder spanning over the northbound main lanes and frontage road. Together, the girders weigh 1.5 million pounds of the project’s total of 38 million pounds of structural steel.
“This milestone is the first step of many to rebuilding this highly, complex four-level interchange,” says Shad Gardner, director of construction for Balfour Beatty as part of the PLC joint venture. “Our team will continue to build bridge and roadway structures for this project, with the first direct connector opening later this year, and look to complete the entire project by late 2024.”
For more information, or to follow the I-635 East construction progress visit 635east.com.