City officials estimate that more than 420,000 cars travel daily on Skillman Street north of Abrams Road to the LBJ Freeway.

Tracy Ham doesn’t care if even more use the road now.

“Logic tells me that more people will use this part of Skillman because of the improvements,” says Ham, who lives one block from the construction area. And, he adds, any inconvenience he has experienced from the three-year project to renovate the two-mile stretch has been well worth the trouble.

“It has rained unmercifully in the last couple of years,” says Sandy Simmons, whose home is adjacent to Skillman. “It does wear on you after a while, but the construction was necessary and it is for the good of everyone.”

The improvements: Skillman, north from Abrams to Audelia, has been widened from four to six lanes, with the addition of a median and almost a dozen left turn lanes.

“The road surface has been changed from asphalt to concrete,” says Milton Brooks, engineer for the City’s Public Works Department who served as construction foreman.

“We have also improved the signalization at all of the intersections,” he says, adding there have been no new intersections constructed.

In addition to the traffic accessing LBJ Freeway, the thoroughfare serves thousands of residents on Skillman, which is lined with 19 apartment and condominium complexes, two major shopping centers at each end and two in between, as well as several free-standing businesses and an abundance of homes in the area.

The Skillman widening was part of the State’s road improvement program. The State not only provided the funds necessary, but also performed the construction, which began in March of 1990.

“The construction delays were due to inclement weather,” Brooks says.

“We could hear them working in the middle of the night, breaking asphalt,” says Simmons, who works from her home, “and they sometimes worked until 2 in the morning.

“I know they have done the best they can,” she says, “and we are thrilled with the improvements.”