GRAPEVINE — The City Council is looking for ways to beautify some unsightly areas that could be left behind when the DFW Connector project is complete.At a recent workshop, the Council reviewed slides of freeway embankments that are not much more than dirt, according to some Council members. Although TxDOT plans to include some basic landscaping, city leaders are looking at sprucing up the areas to enhance the city’s image.The Council also is considering upgrading entrances to the city.Mayor William D. Tate cited Las Colinas and its flowers and clock motif on Highway 114 as an example of what other cities have done to enhance their borders. “People are going to be passing through Grapevine instead of stopping because of the highway project,” Tate said. “Instead of planting [hardy but not visually striking] yucca, let’s find something to give appreciation for the city.”Doug Evans, director of Grapevine Parks & Recreation, suggested incorporating vineyards into the landscaping to honor the city’s roots.Councilwoman Darlene Freed said the city could turn the construction project into an opportunity for city beautification.“Right now, the projects are not very pretty,” she said, looking at a slide of a construction site along Highway 26. “It’s dirt.”After hearing the Council’s comments, City Manager Bruno Rumbelow said the city staff will “come back with a plan from the big picture standpoint.”For more than two years, drivers have endured a painful commute through the massive reconstruction of Texas 114/121 in Grapevine.The $1 billion project is ahead of schedule. If the project stays on its current course – and the weather cooperates – drivers who originally expected to be dodging orange traffic barrels and concrete barriers until July 2014 may instead be driving on a completed freeway between July and September of next year.
Marty Sabota, 817-390-7367 This article contains material from Star-Telegram archives.