Traffic lights flash as motorists drive by them at the Brinker Road underpass at I-35E in November in Denton. 

It may have been two steps forward when the Brinker underpass opened, but it’s one step back as officials on Friday announced another delay in finishing Interstate 35E construction.

The Texas Department of Transportation pushed back the completion date for the widening from Mayhill Road to Loop 288 to January 2020, according to a report provided to Denton’s Mobility Committee.

When the $33.2 million project began two years ago, local officials lobbied to have the project finished by December 2018. The time frame was ambitious but also was meant to follow quickly behind the rest of the interstate’s widening from four to six lanes through Denton — most of which was completed in 2017.

The 1.7-mile stretch from the Loop to Mayhill was plucked from the original project after the city pledged $2.1 million to widen the Loop 288 interchange. Most of that cash was raised through a local tax incentive deal for Buc-ee’s, a travel plaza along the freeway that benefited from the new Brinker underpass.

The entire project was initially expected to be completed in early 2019, but a host of delays continued to push completion dates back several times.

Until this week, the contractor, OHL, had expected to substantially complete the project this month.

— Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe

PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.

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