For those of you that don’t know, and if this is your first time to read my blog … the George Bush Turnpike Eastern Extension has been rumored to come through this area for over 30 years. Over the past couple of months that vision has come to fruition by demolition and beginning stages of construction. Being a citizen who will be directly impacted by this project … I’ve become inspired to document it’s progress. Be sure to check out the archives to view all entries on this project. As mentioned before, the photos I capture of this project are simply for documentation purposes and I do not expect them to be added to my portfolio. However … I will always be on the lookout for the occasional piece of interestingness laying around the project site just in case. So even if you’re not interested in the project itself … but are interested in my photos … be sure to take a look to see if I found anything cool to photograph while I was out documenting.
There’s been quite a bit of progress made in the past month. Unfortunately, much of it is not very obvious which means there’s not much to photograph. Among the obvious … all remaining structures have been demolished, all trees have been shredded into 20-30 ft high mounds and the future highway’s path is now apparent. The entry/exit point in Rowlett became apparent this week by the sudden clearing of trees. A few new bridge supports can now be seen rising from the ground near the lake at Zion Road. There is also a peculiar floating structure complete with a mini tugboat looking vessel on the lake. I imagine that it will be used to create the one-mile bridge across Lake Ray Hubbard between Rowlett and Garland … pull some trees out while you’re at it!
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For some reason lately … I’ve felt compelled to document the construction progress of the George Bush Turnpike (PGBT) Eastern Extension at I-30 (Section 32). This project also includes the one-mile direct-connect bridge across Lake Ray Hubbard between Rowlett and Garland. For one … I live right next door to it and it’s going to go right through my house in it’s next phase across I-30 … also know as The East Branch. Second … I’ve heard stories about it being built my entire life and have imagined what it would look like just as long. And mostly … because I find myself fascinated by what things used to look like before someone decided to build something in whatever place I might be in at the moment.
I think the fascination started when I was a kid. I’ve lived near Lake Ray Hubbard my entire life and I remember my parents telling me what it used to look like before it was a lake. I’ve never been able to find photos of it in those days … and I still find myself day-dreaming about what it might have looked like when I drive over it or while sitting in the middle of it on our boat. So if anyone reads this and has or knows of photos … I want to see them!
I will probably post updates every few months or whenever I notice a big change. These probably won’t be the most amazing photos I’ve ever photographed … but they’ll get the job done. For those of you that don’t know the PGBT currently ends in North Garland at Highway 78 near the Firewheel mall. Once the eastern extension is completed it will pass through Sachse, Rowlett and back into far South Garland and Sunnyvale. The detailed schematics for the entire project can be viewed in a PDF file and is available at the NTTA Web site here. The two sections I’m documenting can be found on pages 5 and 6.
Unfortunately … I didn’t start photographing the area before demolition started about three to four months ago. So I’ll be using a some imagery from Google Earth and Street View to show what the place looked like beforehand.
Photos were taken at red dots.
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