The Fort Worth Police Department provided a variety of traffic and highway construction updates for the public Monday that pertains to this weekend’s Samsung Mobile 500 NASCAR doubleheader at Texas Motor Speedway.
With both Friday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 Nationwide Series race and Saturday’s Samsung Mobile 500 Sprint Cup Series race being the first-ever NASCAR night races in the speedway’s 15-year history, significant changes were announced to the contra-flow traffic plan prior to and following the conclusion of the races during a press conference at Texas Motor Speedway led by Fort Worth Police Department Capt. Bryan Sudan. Friday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 will begin at 7:30 p.m. CT and Saturday’s Samsung Mobile 500 will start at 6:30 p.m.
The following is an overview of the traffic and construction updates for the season-opening race week for Texas Motor Speedway:
· Contra-Flow Plans – The FWPD Traffic Division will be utilizing contra-flow patterns prior to and following Friday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 and Saturday’s Samsung Mobile 500. Contra-flow will not be used for Thursday’s Chevy Fan Day activities at Texas Motor Speedway, which include the opening sessions of practice in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. Inbound Friday & Saturday: The Traffic Division will begin contra-flowing traffic as early as 5:30 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday. Motorists need to be aware that on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon to early evening extremely heavy traffic is expected in all areas adjacent to Texas Motor Speedway. All westbound SH 114 through traffic will need to turn at I-35W northbound to FM 407 to avoid getting sent into the speedway. All other lanes will be directed into the speedway. Traffic is encouraged to utilize SH 156 to Petty Place to enter the speedway if possible. Earnhardt Way, off I-35W, also is an excellent entrance into the speedway and is expected to be highly utilized. Outbound Friday: The Traffic Division is anticipating on shutting down westbound SH 114 at I-35W and diverting that traffic northbound on I-35W. Once on I-35W, vehicles can exit FM 1171 to make a U-turn to go southbound on I-35 or can proceed to FM 407 westbound, where they can get past the race track to SH 156. The eastbound traffic will be directed to southbound I-35W, where SH 170 can be taken to get back to SH 114, or eastbound on SH 114 in the normal traffic lanes and one contra-flow lane on the westbound side into Roanoke. This will only be done to facilitate the outbound vehicles from the speedway when the race is over. The Traffic Division will contra-flow traffic on SH 114 and SH 156 until the majority of traffic is away from the speedway. Outbound Saturday: The Traffic Division is anticipating full contra-flow into Roanoke using three lanes of traffic until traffic reaches Litsey Road, at which point the one westbound contra-flow lane will be merged with the two eastbound lanes. Only one westbound traffic lane will be allowed west of 377 to I-35W, where it will be directed north onto I-35W.
· Best Routes – SH 114 traditionally has the highest traffic flow heading to Texas Motor Speedway so it is best to avoid if possible. For those traveling from Dallas, the recommended route is Interstate 35E North to Denton and then onto Interstate 35W South to the speedway (Dale Earnhardt Way). From Fort Worth, recommended routes would be SH 156 to the speedway or I-35W North to 287 North onto SH 114 East. From Denton, SH 380 West to SH 156 South is recommended or I-35W South to Dale Earnhardt Way. For those traveling from the north and Oklahoma, I-35W South to Dale Earnhardt Way.
· Best Travel Times On Race Days – With an evening race, there is a much larger travel window for race fans but an early arrival time is still suggested to avoid traffic. It is recommended to arrive no later than 5 p.m. Friday to avoid any commuter congestion for the 7:30 p.m. start of the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 Nationwide Series race. On Saturday, fans can take advantage of arriving early to tailgate as the parking lots are open as early as 6 a.m. and all are free of charge. To avoid congestion, look to arrive before 4:30 p.m. The gates open as early as 1:30 p.m. for the 6:30 p.m. start of the Samsung Mobile 500.
· Highway Construction Updates – There are three construction projects – DFW Connector, State Highway 114 and State Highway 170 – in the vicinity of Texas Motor Speedway and all will have work stoppages to assist race fans traveling to both Friday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 Nationwide race and Saturday’s Samsung Mobile 500 Sprint Cup Series race. The DFW Connector, an eight-mile project that will rebuild portions of four highways, two interchanges and five bridges that includes SH 114 and 121 and adjacent roadways located north of DFW Airport, will shut down construction Friday and Saturday and make all lanes available. SH 170, which runs just south of the speedway from I-35W to SH 114 in Trophy Club, will halt all of its construction after 10 a.m. Friday and all of Saturday. The State Highway 114 project, which focuses on a key 2.95-mile stretch that fronts Texas Motor Speedway from Interstate 35W to FM 156, has opted not to begin any actual road construction until shortly after race weekend concludes.
· Public Transportation Option – The Fort Worth Transportation Authority will have its “Victory Lane Express” bus service available for round-trip transportation to Saturday night’s Samsung Mobile 500. Park-and-ride service will leave from the Tarrant County College District's Northwest Campus from 12:30-2:30 p.m. The busses begin returning from the speedway 30 minutes after the race concludes, with the last bus departing the speedway 90 minutes following the end of the race. Cost is $10 per person for a round-trip ticket. For more information, call customer service at (817) 215-8600 or visit www.the-t.com.
Texas Motor Speedway PR