Road work that has annoyed motorists along the Trinity Boulevard corridor in northeast Fort Worth for nearly 3 years is close to completion — but don’t expect the orange cones to completely disappear until perhaps December.
However, there is some good news. The makeover of a particularly busy intersection at Trinity Boulevard and Precinct Line Road should be completed by fall, a Texas Department of Transportation spokesman said. Precinct Line Road, which has been periodically closed during the $10.5 million project, was partially opened with one lane in each direction last week.
It gets pretty hairy about 5 o’clock, when everybody is coming home from work.
Jerod Patrick, Trinity Boulevard motorist
Yet a longer-term project about a mile to the east — the installation of a new drainage bridge near Bell Helicopter Boulevard — is likely to continue until December, a Fort Worth city spokeswoman said. That project is already nearly 3 years old.
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Trinity Boulevard is an east-west shortcut for motorists traveling between central Fort Worth and Euless, north Arlington and Irving. Normally, it’s a nice alternative to gridlock on Interstate 30 to the south and Texas 121/183 “Airport Freeway” to the north.
But for nearly three years, about 2 miles of the corridor has been an orange cone-laden work zone, stretching from the Lakes of River Trails residential development on the western end to Bell Helicopter on the eastern end.
“It gets pretty hairy about 5 o’clock, when everybody is coming home from work,” Jerod Patrick, who works as a maintenance technician at a nearby business, said while stopping for snacks at a Chevron convenience store at the corner of Trinity and Precinct Line on the way to his night-shift job.
15,682 Vehicles per day that use Trinity Boulevard.
Owners of area businesses, including the Smoke & Vapor Shop on Precinct Line Road and a nearby Chevron convenience store, said they have lost business during the project — yet have managed to hang on because of the loyalty of regular customers.
Patrick, who lives in Burleson, said he sometimes takes Randol Mill Road to Precinct Line Road as an alternate route.
“I usually don’t get stuck much because I get through here before the traffic gets bad. But I see through the front doors of our company it’s backed up a good ways,” he said. “The people who leave work when I get there, they stay in traffic about 30 to 45 minutes.”
Precinct Line project behind schedule
Two separate projects make up the Trinity Boulevard work zone, including one in which the TxDOT is overseeing the expansion of Precinct Line Road from Texas 10 to Trinity Boulevard.
The project includes reconstruction of the Trinity Boulevard/Precinct Line intersection, and expansion of Precinct Line to four lanes with a raised median.
Trinity Boulevard, which is normally four lanes wide, is reduced to one lane in each direction in the area during construction. Also, Precinct Line Road has been periodically closed during construction, although that road was opened to one lane in each direction last week.
When the project is complete, Precinct Line will be two lanes in each direction with a raised median.
The work, which also includes replacing a drainage bridge over Walker Branch, is about six months behind schedule but should be completed by fall, said department spokesman Val Lopez. The total cost of the project is about $10.5 million.
“Ongoing work includes paving, and upcoming work involves setting beams and paving on the Precinct Line Road bridge,” Lopez said.
$10.5 million Cost of expanding Precinct Line Road near Trinity Boulevard
What caused the six-month delay?
“Some utilities were found,” Lopez said. “We had to take about six months to move some utilities before we could move forward with the project. Sometimes we find things in the ground when we begin working. We work around them, for safety [concerns].”
Washed-out bridge still not finished
The second project is about a mile to the east, where workers are putting the finishing touches on another drainage bridge that was washed out during heavy rainfall in March 2014. That area of Trinity Boulevard is south of Bell Helicopter Textron. It is between Bell Helicopter Boulevard (formerly Bell Spur) and Norwood Drive.
Trinity Boulevard is reduced to one lane in each direction there, too. But the road will be two lanes in each direction with a divider once the work is complete, a Fort Worth city spokeswoman said.
$4.6 million Cost of rebuilding flood-prone portion of Trinity Boulevard
The cost of that project was originally set at $3.789 million but has escalated as workers and designers have struggled somewhat to ensure the bridge can withstand fierce flood waters.
The area is known for flooding during heavy rainstorms.
“We are currently working on extending the completion date to December 2016,” Cindy Vasquez, Fort Worth city spokeswoman, said in an email. “The total cost of the project is projected to be $4,636,996.”
Other area projects
The area has been awash in infrastructural improvements in recent years, city officials said. Other projects either ongoing, planned or recently completed include:
- Conversion of Norwood Drive into a three-lane artery from just north of Trinity Boulevard to near the Trinity Railway Express crossing.
- Expansion of Trinity Boulevard into a divided, landscaped four-lane road from Loop 820 to Thames Trail.
This report includes information from the Star-Telegram archives.