ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – A re-paving project on I-30 is proving to be a traffic hazard for North Texas commuters.
Crews are stripping and re-paving the eastbound lanes between the 820 interchange in Fort Worth and Cooper Street in Arlington.
For drivers, it means gravel on the road, dust in the air, and miles-long back ups each and every day. For some drivers, it's also meant damage to their vehicles.
The beginning of the construction caught many motorists off guard. They are not only dealing with the rugged roads on the east-bound side, they'll soon have to deal with it on the west-bound side as well.
TxDot has stripped the surface off of the east-bound side of I-30 and is ready to do the same on the west bound side. Eventually, it will be resurfaced and give drivers a smooth ride.
But right now, it's anything but smooth. The ride can be jarring, even jolting parts off of cars.
"It can knock alignment out, it can cause front-end damage, it can cause shock and strut damage," said auto mechanic Barry Hart.
The Department of Transportation says the ride is bumpy, but the road is safe. Still, drivers should be cautious.
"We don't ever leave the roadway unsafe," said TxDot spokesman Val Lopez. "But right now it is a construction zone. So, when motorists drive out there they need to drive to the conditions that are out there. If there is loose gravel or its raining they need to slow down their speeds and give themselves plenty of space between them and the car that is in front of them."
There's another reason to watch your speed. Mechanics say the biggest threat to your car is going from unpaved to paved road. It's almost like slamming into a speed bump.
"You've got an impact there that you're taking at 65, 70 miles an hour that cars now days have lower profile tires. Tires used to take a lot of the impact. Now, the suspension on the car is taking most of the impact," said Hart.
The impact can knock your car out of alignment and that places undue wear on your tires.
"Hopefully, you take your car in for regular maintenance and they'll be able to spot tire wear before you wear a tire out completely," said Hart.
TxDot says weather permitting, there will be a smooth surface on the east bound side of I-30 before the end of July. The west-bound side should be completed in the fall.