Road work on I-30 makes slow progress

Supply issues cause delays in construction


Anna Bell Lee

Cars drive past as the new construction for I-30 remains empty. The estimated finish date has been moved from April 2024 to May of 2025.

Story by Anna Bell Lee, Staff Writer

Adjusting the mirror slightly while casually taking a daily drive to work, the speed limits are reduced, there are blockades narrowing the streets and bright orange signs flashing through the corner of the eye bringing the only typical thing to mind: construction. The I-30 widening project in Texarkana was allotted to the contractor Longview Bridge and Road for $88.9 million in May 2020. Construction of the widening project began mid-COVID in August 2020 from Kings Highway to State Line. The construction spans across those 6.8 miles turning the current four way interstate into a six lane interstate.

There are four phases of construction with multiple parts tacking onto each phase. The project is currently in phase 2B, where the shoulders of each side are narrowed by temporary barriers to allow workers to build the two new inside lanes.

The intended purpose of the ongoing construction is to help maintain safety and manage the consistently increasing trade and population of Texarkana. 

Every project that we design and construct has a focus on safety and increasing safety on our system,” TxDOT public information officer Heather Deaton said. “When this project is complete, it will include many [new] elements to move toward our goal of a safer system.”

While the plan of the widening on I-30 is to increase safety, there has been an escalation of sudden concern from daily drivers on the safety of the road. 

“Roadwork has definitely made [my drive to school] more dangerous,” junior Ella Graham said. “It slows down [people] when they are trying to get to where they need to be because wrecks are happening more often.”

The original estimation date for completion was to be in April 2024. However, due to supply issues both locally and nationally, the current estimated finish date is May 2025. 

The current estimated finish date is a fluid date,” Deaton said. “TxDOT is working together with the contractor to find areas to expedite the construction process to try to close that gap between the original estimated completion and the current estimated completion date.”


Fatalities among car crashes have become apparent, specifically when the construction started. From August 2020 to the end of 2021, there were a total of 302 crashes on the 6.8 mile span where the project started to take place. The biggest contributing factors to collisions statewide have been speeding, driver inattention and unsafe lane changes. Due to this, the speed limit was reduced to 65 mph. 

“Safety is our top priority when it comes to TxDOT employees, contractors and members of the public,” Deaton said. “TxDOT continually works to educate motorists on safe driving habits on our highways and in our work zones.”

The narrowing of the road also led to the need to be more aware throughout the span of the project. Even though the speed limits have been reduced, Texarkana currently experiences a lack of concern when it comes to following the posted signs. 

“The shoulders being [enclosed] doesn’t make it feel as safe,” senior Anna Shults said. “People will fly past you in those tight lanes [making it uncomfortable].”

Even though the public comes in contact with challenges daily due to construction, the end desire for the project is in favor of the betterment of traffic flow concerning both functionality and quality.

“We encourage motorists to use the continuous one-way frontage roads, which were built in 2006, to allow for the free flow of traffic,” Deaton said. “Watching for work crews, not tailgating, allowing for extra travel time and paying attention are among the behaviors we encourage.”