CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Eighteen months into an almost $50 million project to improve safety and mobility on South Padre Island Drive in Corpus Christi, the Texas Department of Transportation provided a detailed update to KRIS 6 News.
"The project right now is on schedule," Texas Department of Transformation public information officer for the Corpus Christi District Rickey Dailey said. "It's scheduled to wrap-up in the spring of 2022."
One phase of the 10-phase project has already been completed since construction began in January 2018. Phases two and three are currently underway.
"There's going to be construction for awhile," Dailey said. "Just give us a little patience. We're all going to get through this."
TexDOT is using what it calls ramp reversal to improve traffic flow. That's a process of changing current on-ramps into exit ramps and vice versa. The end result will be exit ramps farther from frontage road intersections leading to fewer backups on the main lanes of the freeway.
Adding fourth lanes, dubbed "flex" lanes, to overpasses on the stretch of SPID from Ayers Street to Nile Drive should also help drivers enter and exit the freeway more easily. But all of that work comes at a cost.
"TexDOT is making an almost $50 million investment in this project to increase safety and mobility," Dailey said. "It is the largest transportation project in Nueces County currently outside of the Harbor Bridge."
Reaction to Thursday's update was mixed among drivers.
"There's a potential there," Diana Castellon said. "I see it, but it just takes too long to get there."
"I think they're doing a good job," John Wood said. "I think it's going to be a little better than it used to be."
An even more detailed update can be viewed on the Texas Department of Transportation website by clicking here.