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State Highway 121

Last updated 10-June-2001, created September 2000

121 cuts across the Metroplex from the northeast to the southwest. 121 is in a wide variety of configurations on its route through DFW, from freeway to a 2-lane country road. There has been a lot of construction activity on 121 recently, and there is much more to come.

121 location

Starting from the southwest, here's a segment-by-segment status as of September 2000.

Southwest Parkway Turnpike - construction should start in 2004, after a few details with local neighborhood groups are resolved. The route is entirely on new location.

Downtown Fort Worth - the 121 route on the west and north sides of downtown Fort Worth was cancelled in 2000. 121 will follow the new location of I-30 and I-35w, which intersect in a massive new interchange.

Existing Freeway - from downtown Fort Worth to the I-635 just north of DFW airport, 121 is a freeway. It was constructed in the 1960's.

820/121 Interchange - Construction has been ongoing for years on this low-rise interchange, and will be complete in 2001.

The "Funnel" - the convergence of 121 and 114 north of DFW is a major traffic choke point. The recommended alternative for this section will be 10 main lanes and 4 HOT lanes (2 each direction.) Construction should start around 2010.

Lewisville Bypass - The bypass is on a new location and was completed in 2000. It is mostly feeder roads, but includes a short section of freeway east of I-35E. Mainlane construction should begin within a few years.

North Plano - From the east end of the Lewisville bypass to US75 in McKinney, 121 will be upgraded to a full freeway with feeders on a 400 ft (122m) right-of-way. This region is urbanizing very rapidly. Feeder roads from US75 to Preston road (the western half) is a $41 million project that is funded and scheduled for 2003. The main lanes will likely be constructed as a tollway. See the 9-March-2001 news report.

820/121 Interchange

This interchange has been under construction since the mid 1990's and is nearing completion. Unlike most new freeway-freeway interchanges in DFW, it is only a 3-level interchange. It sprawls on a a large right-of-way. Unfortunately, it is difficult to take good photographs of low and wide interchanges.

121/820

All photos taken September 2000 (during severe drought), except as noted (photos with green grass)

121/820
This view is from the southwest side of the interchange, along the 820 eastbound feeder. The ramp is the connector ramp from FM 1938.

121/230
Also on the southwest side of the interchange, this is the continuation of the connector ramp from FM 1938 to southbound 820.

The Funnel

121 DFW
(high resolution 126k) Looking east from the Northwest Highway overpass, just north of DFW airport. In this section, 114 and 121 merge together into the "Funnel", which is the passage between DFW airport on the south and Grapevine Lake on the north. This section of freeway is currently under study for future enhancements, but will almost certainly have 10 main lanes and 4 HOV/managed lanes. Photo taken 14-May-2001.

121 DFW
(high resolution 141k) This view looks north at the intersection with IH-635, which is just north of the funnel. Photo taken 14-May-2001.

Lewisville Bypass

The Lewisville bypass routes 121 on a new location south of the city of Lewisville. It was completed in 2000. It consists mostly of feeder roads on a 400 ft (122m) wide right-of-way, but there is a short section of freeway east of I-35E. Local officials are working hard to secure funding for the main freeway lanes. I think that local money will pay for most, and maybe all of this freeway. I'll update this section when I can find out more details.

All photos taken September 2000

Lewisville bypass
Just south of the Lewisville bypass, there is still a traffic light. Main freeway lanes are a high priority, but funding is awaiting the completion of the major study of the Funnel.

121 DFW
(high resolution 158k) This view looks northeast at the beginning of the south end of the Lewisville Bypass. The bypass consists of feeder roads only at this time, so traffic must exit. Photo taken 14-May-2001.

121 DFW
(high resolution 158k) This view looks east at the intersection with Denton Tap road and the wide right-of-way. Photo taken 14-May-2001.

121 DFW
(high resolution 154k) This view looks east along the eastbound feeder near MacArthur Boulevard. Photo taken 14-May-2001.

Lewisville bypass
This is the view from the feeder roads of I-35E, looking towards the east. The terminus of the new 121 freeway can be seen.

Lewisville bypass
This is the short section of new freeway just east of I-35E, looking east.This section does not have feeder roads, and consequently has a narrow right-of-way.

Lewisville bypass
This is the main lane right-of-way where the bypass merges back with the old route at the north end of the bypass. This view looks northeastward. The elevated ramp in the background is the eastbound lanes from the old route.

121 Plano
This is how 121 looks though much of Collin County (north Plano), between the east end of the Lewisville bypass and US75 (McKinney), looking east. It is a 4 lane divided highway. Starting in 2003, feeder roads will be built for the new freeway, which will be on a 400 ft (122m) right-of-way. Most likely, the main lanes will be tolled. See the 9-March-2001 news report.

 
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