East End Intersection To Close For Nearly A Week As METRO Installs Light Rail Tracks

Starting tonight, a key intersection on the east side of downtown will be shut down for nearly a week. This is part of Metro's latest push to complete two extensions of its light rail system.

The intersection of Dowling and Texas will be off limits to traffic, as crews lay down the tracks for both the East End and Southeast lines.  They'll work around the clock until the tracks are complete.

"Right now, the plans are to reopen everything to traffic by Thursday evening."

METRO's Margaret O'Brien-Molina says by closing Dowling and Texas until late next week, crews will be able to complete a month's worth of work in just six days.

"Compressing that schedule, working with the city to get our permits, and making sure we've got the available crews to man this is a very intricate operation.  But we're doing it trying to make sure that we've got the maximum result for the amount of time we're devoting."

In addition to the extended closure at Dowling and Texas, METRO will also shut down Austin and Caroline Streets at Capitol on Saturday morning.  O'Brien-Molina says that 48 hour closure is part of the process of installing rail guide-ways.

"And that's actually putting the track in place for the train to move down.  Because, I think, people often forget there wasn't any train, and, all of the sudden, we're constructing whole pieces."

Detours will be posted for drivers to navigate around the closed intersections. METRO says the overall project to add 15 miles to the light rail system is expected to be complete in about two years.

 

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