MARTIN COUNTY The much-anticipated project that will make State Highway 349 a four-lane highway between Midland and Lamesa is scheduled to take its first construction steps.
Jones Brothers Dirt and Paving Contractors Inc. workers are tentatively scheduled – weather permitting – to start work later this month on a portion of the project in northern Martin County. This first stage will feature work on Highway 349 with the project limits being State Highway 176 on the southern edge. The northern edge of the project limits for this first stage is approximately 9.5 miles north of Highway 176.
Speed limits in the construction zone will drop to 45 miles per hour. TxDOT and Jones Brothers have requested extra patrols from law enforcement to help ensure worker and driver safety. The project also will restrict vehicle width to 11 feet to improve safety.
The construction bid price on this stage of the project was a little more than $7.6 million. As this stage of the project moves forward, the construction schedule has Jones Brothers workers starting on the northern limits of the project and progressing south in approximately two-mile segments. Staging the project means less interruption of traffic. It also provides greater safety for both motorists and laborers in the work zone.
This stage of the project is expected to take about a year to complete.
The Odessa District has two more projects scheduled to take bids in July on the State Highway 349 corridor. One project will provide for the construction of four lanes from the northern edge of the above-referenced project to the Dawson County line (construction cost estimated at approximately $7 million for 6.5 miles). The second Odessa District project will cover construction of four lanes from State Highway 176 south to the Midland County line (construction cost estimated at $13.6 million for 15.8 miles).
The Lubbock District of TxDOT also plans to take bids on a project in August 2013 to construct four lanes on the remainder of State Highway 349 from the Dawson County line north to Lamesa (no construction cost estimate as of this time).