— By JUDY SHERIDAN
The Interstate 30 interchange at Walsh Ranch Parkway, which began construction in October, is now expected to be finished in the summer of 2015, according to a recent update from the Texas Department of Transportation.
“The contractor has set up traffic control and installed erosion control measures and is currently performing excavation operations for both the westbound exit ramp and the north bridge abutment,” TxDOT Public Information Officer Natalie Galindo said. “They are also working on extending some culverts.”
Plans outlined in a May 2012 public information session called for the interchange to begin construction in early 2013 and be finished in 12 to 18 months, according to a senior principal with Dunaway, a Fort Worth engineering firm.
Malcolm Louden, president of Walsh Holdings, said Walsh Ranch Parkway, the six-lane north-south arterial that will serve the Walsh Ranch development, is finished but won’t open until the interchange is done.
Likewise, home construction also hinges on a functional interchange.
“We will select a development partner for Phase I — the 113-acre Quail Valley site with 124 residential lots — in the next few weeks,” Louden said. “We will have lots ready by early summer as we have completed the plan for Phase I.”
The main water and sewer lines for Phase I have been installed.
Construction of the $13.9 million interchange is taking place about two miles east of the FM Road 1187 bridge.
Plans call for four concrete bridges and non-standard features like stamped concrete, decorative railings, street lights and landscaped retaining walls.
The interchange is the first of five interchanges planned on I-30 and I-20 that will serve the 7,200-acre master-planned mixed-use community, projected to include multiple elementary schools and up to two middle schools when fully developed, all in the Aledo ISD.
The school district has purchased land near Holy Redeemer Catholic Parish that could be used for a high school or middle school, Chief Financial Officer Earl Husfeld said.