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News Archive 2001 - 2010

UTA Civil Engineering Alumnus Directs Dallas’ “High Five” Project

February 16, 2004

Praxedis “Pete” Garza, P.E., who received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at The University of Texas at Arlington, is the lead engineer for the Texas Department of Transportation’s most complicated and expensive project – the “High Five” interchange linking the LBJ Freeway (I-635) and North Central Expressway (US-75) in Dallas. More than a half- million vehicles move through the existing interchange every day.

Garza has been with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) since 1984, when he worked part time while still a student at UTA. He was offered full time positions in both the Fort Worth and Dallas TxDOT district offices following his graduation in December of 1986. He chose Dallas because it was closer to his family.

Over the years, Garza received several promotions, becoming the assistant area engineer for Northwest Dallas County of the Dallas District in 1998. He became the interim area engineer in January of 2004, following the departure of his supervisor, and assumed responsibility for the maintenance of existing roadways, design projects and construction of the Northwest Dallas County area. This area office has the highest traffic count and construction volume in the state.

"I enjoyed my college years at UTA,” said Garza. “I feel that I could not have received a better engineering education any where else."

The Dallas “High Five” interchange project will span five years and cost $261 million. About half of the work had been completed, mostly involving the elevated crossovers, which are constructed in 70-ton, concrete segments erected by special cranes from Italy. The project is so complex that TxDOT has developed a web site – - to help the public understand its scope and track its progress.