The DFW Connector has been in the news a lot lately as construction has picked up on this massive highway construction project in Grapevine. Just last year, we gave the Northgate Contractors an A- based on the fact that the impact on commutes was pretty modest. It might be time to re-evaluate.
We have not checked out yet how the announced full highway closure at Main Street bridge is impacting traffic this weekend. We have been too scared to. But we likely will take a look at it later tonight and report back. Our story on the Connector is now three nights old. Here goes –
We stay pretty in tune with what is going on with the DFW Connector. Since we are in the information business, we have to. Several nights ago, we were returning home from Dallas along 114 heading to Grapevine and were surprised to see the following sign, “FULL HIGHWAY CLOSURE 1 MILE.”
We were aware of the highway closure scheduled for this weekend, but not the one three days ago. So as we headed up 114 just before we got to the actual 121 / 114 Connector all traffic was forced to exit. We were then faced with two options. Either we could head into the DFW airport or head north on 121 toward Lewisville. Neither option got us in the direction we needed to go which was through the 121 / 114 Connector.
So we took option 1 and headed toward the airport thinking certainly there will be signs that could lead us back to the Connector. Again to our surprise there were not any. So we were forced to make the U-turn just before the airport entrance and head back toward the 121 / 114 connector. This time our only option was to take 121 North toward Lewisville which again was not where we needed to go.
As we headed north on 121, the first exit for us was Bass Pro Drive. We took it thinking we could get back to the Connector by crossing the bridge and reversing direction. Again we were blocked by a closed on-ramp to 121 and were forced to take the ramp to Highway 635 heading back to DALLAS. By that point, we were somewhat frustrated.
Finally, we made the U-turn off of 635 at Royal Lane and headed back toward the 121 / 114 connector and were finally allowed to pass through and head home.
The lack of signage or detours was pretty disappointing. The fact that HWY 114 was closed and we had no word of it was even more disappointing. We live in Grapevine. It is not hard to imagine the frustration from people who are not from the area and are forced off the normal pathways only to be left to on their own for direction.
We are downgrading the Connector to a C+ so far. Let’s hope it gets better.