As part of a joint venture, Balfour Beatty was responsible for the design and construction of phase four of State Highway 161, which is now known as the President George Bush Turnpike Western Extension. Phase 4 was the final phase of construction of a 6.5-mile stretch of a new 11.5-mile corridor that is part of the growing transportation loop around Dallas. The other three phases were fully or substantially completed and opened to traffic when the contract to design and build Phase 4 was awarded to the Balfour Beatty team.
The SH 161 corridor project included the construction of main lanes in each direction from North Carrier Parkway to I-20 and multi-level interchanges at Interstate Highways 20 and 30. The work also includes construction of an undercrossing beneath the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) and West Main Street and West Jefferson Street, which lie on either side of the railroad.
In addition to access at IH-30 and IH-20, the Phase 4 corridor included ten on-ramps with ramp gantries and one main gantry.
The project involved the construction of 45 bridge structures (1.5 million-sf of deck), including direct connector ramps, street overpasses and water crossings. Structures were optimized to minimize the amount of substructure and structural steel needed by incorporating the latest TX beam standards, utilizing straddle bents, and a cut and cover tunnel.
The project alignment crosses a major Union Pacific (UPRR) freight rail line that serves the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The dual track UPRR line was relocated to a temporary shoo-fly to permit the construction of bridges to carry the UPRR over the depressed lines. New at-grade railroad crossings were built for the frontage roads to improve connectivity to Grand Prairie.