Posts Tagged ‘PGBT Eastern Extension’

Girders All The Way

April 2, 2010

A major milestone … in my opinion … was reached earlier this week. Workers finished installing girders along the entire length of the SB 190 to WB I-30 exit ramp. I was lucky enough to drive by just before the last four girders were lifted into place. I’ve visited the site many times … but this was the first time I’d ever witnessed girders lifted into their final resting place.

The WB I-30 to NB 190 exit ramp has become much closer to completion over the past few months. I expect it will completed by early summer.

There was nothing more than a gaping hole beneath Interstate 30 back in January. It has now been filled with thirty completed columns and workers are starting on the first beam.

Over at the Lake Ray Hubbard shoreline … seven new sections of NB 190 roadway have been extended over the water since January.

President George Bush Turn Pike Eastern Extension at Interstate 30 Construction photos by Dallas architecture & engineering photographer JA2 Photography  |  Workers installing concrete girder

Want to see more images? Click on the image or click here.

Today I ran across new Google Earth imagery of the construction site. Based on my photos it looks to be from mid-November 2009. It’s pretty cool to see things in the two totally different perspectives. I also decided to overlay the 2007 alignments on to the new imagery. It’s not exact, but the illustration gives a very good idea of what structures and land are in the East Branch’s path.

Overall, construction has slowed due to rain and record snow. I haven’t visited the site on foot in a while … which means no new photos YET. I see new progress every other week or so and I’m anxious to get over there. Lots of new girders have been raised and the first few sections of direct-connect bridge roadway are extending over the lake. New photos will be coming soon!

PGBT Section 32 aerial image before - Image provided by Google Earth

I decided to go check things out across the lake in Rowlett this past weekend. I must say that I was a quite underwhelmed at the progress that’s been made over there. Granted they did start a few months later on the north end of the lake than the southern … but it’s just a road they’re building over there. The only visible signs of progress are bits and pieces of the future roadway’s drainage system. There’s also the beginnings of the wall that will stand beside the future turn-around … allowing drivers to turn around before crossing the lake. I’m probably a little naive to what all is involved over there. Or … maybe I just haven’t appreciated how fast the Austin Bridge & Road crews are cranking out their piece of the project. Either way … I won’t be going over to Rowlett again anytime soon. But I might be checking out the area near Firewheel in the near future … just because. They’re not as exciting to look at … but here’s a few images I captured in Rowlett south of Kirby Road and north of Lake Ray Hubbard in Section 31.

Photography of President George Bush Turnpike construction in Rowlett by JA2 Photography

Want to see more images? Click on the image or click here.

This post marks my one-year anniversary documenting Section 32 of the PGBT Eastern Extension. I shot the first photos on January 22, 2009 and the most recent today. It’s hard to believe there were no visible signs of an interchange or direct-connect bridge just 12 months ago. There were even Lakeway Forest apartment buildings still standing in my first photos. I still regret the fact I didn’t start a few months sooner in order to capture the landscape as it was before and during demolition in late 2008.

There’s not much to report since last month … but there have been some significant visual changes since the last update.

  • Most of the the girders for the WB-I30 to NB-190 are in place.
  • The second set of steel girders for the EB-I30 to NB-190 are in place.
  • Excavation for the EB/WB I-30 bridge is complete
  • The end of the SB-190 to WB-I30 ramp is beginning to take shape near Zion Road.

I found an interesting PDF the other day at the It shows the proposed alignments south of Interstate 30 as of January 2007 in great detail. I’d assume it’s still accurate because the current construction is exactly as illustrated in the PDF.

Want to see more images? Click on the image or click here.

Progress over at the Section 32 construction site is still movin’ right along. The last update included photos up to November 1st and although much has been done since then … there are only a handful of things that have changed significantly:

  • A DEAL launching girder has been assembled to construct the one-mile bridge. Crews have almost completed the first two sections of roadway foundation.
  • A second set of overpass girders are now in place on the westbound Interstate 30 to northbound 190 ramp on the Garland shoreline.
  • Bridge support columns are now emerging from the water almost all the way across Lake Ray Hubbard. Workers are currently at the Rowlett shoreline.
  • The first eastbound 1-30 to northbound 190 girders were raised into place this week.
  • Workers have completed much of the roadway for the southbound 190 to westbound I-30 ramp … in it’s current state.
  • More partial support columns now stand near Interstate 3o for the southbound 190 to eastbound I-30 ramp.
  • Nearly all of of the support columns for the westbound I-30 to northbound 190 ramp are now completed. The rest are in final stages.
  • Major excavation has been done under old Interstate 30 to begin building the future bridge.
  • Construction of the final section of the southbound 190 to westbound I-30 ramp is now underway alongside the I-30 access road.

Now that most of the support columns are almost complete … the overpasses should start becoming visible very soon!

Want to see more images? Click on the image or click here.

Over the past eight months a surprising number of people interested in the construction have found my blog by searching the Internet. Many of them are local citizens … and like myself … will be … or have already been directly impacted. Others simply drive by every day, or on occasion, and wonder what the heck is going on. I’ve had numerous inquiries asking if I know anything about the future East Branch Project for State Highway 190 which will continue through Garland … into Sunnyvale until it meets Interstate 20 near Lawson Road. The last meeting I attended displayed an arial photograph combined with illustrations of the roadway median passing directly through the intersection of Peninsula Way and Locust Grove and continuing along side Wind Surf Bay Park. Beyond that I know nothing more than what can be found here.

Previous updates are in the process of being re-located to this blog … until then check them out here.

Be sure to visit the photo galleries for an extensive look at the construction area where you also can flag multiple images for before & after comparison.

The images on this blog and within it’s photo galleries are for documentation purposes only and capturing great images is not my main objective. But … on occasion I do manage to capture some nice images in a seemly not-so-nice place.

Project photo galleries

Here are some of this months highlights:

Want to see more images? Click on the image or click here.


  • The southbound 190 to westbound I-30 ramp has had most of the bridge spans in place. The northern section is already receiving roadway sub-structure.
  • What looks like the tallest support structure is now complete.
  • Construction started on the one-mile direct-connect bridge over Lake Ray Hubbard. Numerous partial and complete support columns are already rising above the water.
  • Many of the support columns for the eastbound I-30 to northbound 190 ramp are near complete
  • The first support structures for the westbound I-30 to northbound 190 ramp are complete
  • The right-lane of the new westbound I-30 access road is nearly complete
  • The future site of a bridge allowing drivers to pass beneath I-30 is now apparent along the new access road
  • Major site leveling can be seen on the Rowlett shoreline.

These images are for documentation purposes only and capturing great images is not my main objective. But … on occasion I do manage to capture some nice images in a seemly not-so-nice place.

Want to see more images? Click on the image or click here.

Progress overview:

  • Support columns for the PGBT South-bound to West-bound I-30 ramp stretch from Zion to I-30. Other partially complete columns are starting
    to appear just about everywhere.
  • Trees were removed from Lake Ray Hubbard in order to begin construction on the one-mile direct connection bridge between Rowlett and Garland.
  • Crews have started the removing the right-hand lane from the WB I-30 access road.
  • Signs of site leveling can be seen across the lake on the Rowlett shoreline.

These images are for documentation purposes only and capturing great images is not my main objective. But … on occasion I do manage to capture some nice images in a seemly not-so-nice place.

Want to see more images? Click on the image or click here.

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!

Want to see more images? Click on the image or click here.

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.