GRAPEVINE — For years, the city of Grapevine has suffered growing pains from the massive DFW Connector road project that created traffic headaches for a city that relies heavily on tourism.But now, with the recent announcement that the project is “substantially complete,” the city has decided to spend $300,000 to let the world know that “we survived.”Since late 2009, Grapevine residents have been boxed in by the DFW Connector, a $1 billion makeover of the 8-mile stretch of Texas 114/121 that forms the main path in and out of the city. Because of the work, motorists encountered confusing detours, lane closures and traffic often stacked up for miles.But the city’s nearly 50,000 residents, the estimated 250,000 drivers who use the highway each day and Grapevine’s businesses all have reason to be joyful.The project is just weeks away from being declared “substantially complete.” In response, the City Council at its Sept. 3 meeting approved launching its “DFW Connector Project substantially compete advertising campaign.”Barry Lewis and Michael Woody of the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau unveiled the media plans to the council, relaying the campaign theme: “The good times in Grapevine just got a lot easier to get to!”The goal is to promote local attractions, hotels, restaurants and events that are now easier to access. Funding comes from the convention and visitors bureau, Lewis said.Promotional efforts will include television, radio, print and online. The target audience is adults 25 to 54, which elicited lighthearted comments from older City Council members who said they didn’t like being left out.For example, the city plans 189 television spots, 710 10- and 15-second radio spots and large ads that will run in area papers, including the Grapevine Courier, the Southlake Journal and the Colleyville Courier. Online advertising includes 1,532,250 online impressions, 626,000 mobile impressions and 34,000 pre-roll video views on YouTube.The ads will promote shopping and attractions such as Sea Life Grapevine Aquarium and Grapevine Vintage Railroad.The theme, Woody said, is “We survived. We did it. We made it through the DFW Connector Project.”The campaign will run through Dec. 31. Mayor William D. Tate was happy about the project’s near completion, saying, “Everybody will be excited about that.”On Aug. 21, city and state leaders were joined in Grapevine by Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez for a celebration. They said that the project will be done about nine months ahead of schedule.This report contains material from the Star-Telegram archives.
Marty Sabota, 817-390-7367