At approximately 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night, Nov. 15, the North Texas Tollway Authority was informed that the boom (lifting arm) connected to a crane being used to construct the future President George Bush Turnpike Western Extension/Interstate Highway 20 interchange in Grand Prairie broke, but there were no injuries.
The crane was being used to hoist concrete beams into place. Initial reports by the project’s construction company, Prairie Link Constructors, indicate that one or some of the boom supports possibly failed. When it started to break, the crane operator released the load to avoid the crane from tipping over, minimizing damage. As a result, a portion of the concrete beam broke on impact. The debris was contained within the construction work area located between the I-20 westbound main lanes and the westbound frontage road and no lane closures or traffic delays occurred as a result of the incident. No other damage was reported.
An internal investigation by Prairie Link is underway to determine the exact cause of the incident. In the meantime, construction of the interchange will continue as scheduled.
The President George Bush Turnpike Western Extension, also known as State Highway 161, will provide a new, approximately 11.5-mile link in the growing loop around Dallas. The corridor consists of the tolled PGBT WE main lanes and the SH 161 frontage roads. Phase 1, which includes the frontage roads from Carrier Parkway to I-20, is complete and open to traffic. Phases 2 and 3 consist of the tolled main lanes between SH 183 and I-30 and are also open to traffic. The final phase of the project, Phase 4, extends from I-30 to I-20 and is expected to open to traffic in the fourth quarter of 2012.