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Before TEXRail can open roads in Fort Worth and Grapevine are closed for construction

TEXRail cars were unloaded last fall in Grapevine, where much work remains to be done before the passenger rail line can open.
TEXRail cars were unloaded last fall in Grapevine, where much work remains to be done before the passenger rail line can open. Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Track replacement, new bridges and other work related to the TEXRail project will continue to close roads this spring in cities along the route.

The 27-mile passenger rail service from downtown Fort Worth to Terminal B at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport is scheduled to start service by the end of the year.

But before the rail service can began, some infrastructure work is required. And that means roads must be closed.

Work in the Grapevine area is some of the most significant being done..

Drivers are currently being detoured around the intersection of Kimball Avenue and Texas 26 in Grapevine, while workers overhaul the rail system in that area. They’re not only replacing the ballast, ties and rails, but also elevating the road a few inches so it’s at grade with the new track, said Brian Murnahan, the public relations officer for TEXRail. The new track sits a few inches taller than the old railroad.

“We’re crossing a lot of roads,” he said. “Ultimately, as we go through, we have to change the elevation of the track so we can have a smooth ride for our trains when they go into operation.”

Kimball Avenue is scheduled to re-open soon.

From March 5-7, TEXRail will close Ira E. Woods Avenue where the historic railroad bridge crosses the street, according to its website..

The closures allowed workers to drill piers that will support the new bridge. That way, when it’s time to place the new bridge, workers can “plug and play” with the new bridge, minimizing the time that the railroad and the street will be closed, Murnahan said. That’s scheduled to happen this spring.

When the old bridge is removed, Grapevine plans to give it new life as a pedestrian bridge in a city park, said Mona Burk, marketing communications manager for the city of Grapevine.

The train tracks to be used by TEXRail are also used by the Fort Worth and Western Railroad and the Grapevine Vintage Railroad.

Other upcoming closures include:

*Dooley Street - March 5-7.

* Main Street - date to be determined.

*Texas 114/121, where TEXRail is building a 1,400-foot bridge to cross the highway and enter DFW Airport, will be closed from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., but the dates have not yet been determined.

The overnight-work plan will allow workers to drill piers and place beams for the railroad bridge, Murnahan said. It will take several closures over a period of months. The timing is still being coordinated with the Texas Department of Transportation, he said.

TEXRail will use two existing stations in downtown Fort Worth — the T&P Station and Intermodal Center. From there, it will travel to a stop on Fort Worth's north side, head northeast to two stops in North Richland Hills — Iron Horse Station and Smithfield Station. The final stops will be at Grapevine Main Street Station, DFW Airport North and DFW Airport Terminal B.

Numerous road closures are also going on in Fort Worth:

*Decatur Avenue (south of N.E. 31st Street) - Through March 4.

*1st Street (near Purina Plant) - Full closure March 5-10.

*Deen Road (between N.E. 33rd Street and E. Long Ave.) - Through Feb. 28

In Haltom City, a portion of Old Denton Highway is closed through Feb. 28 in between Springlake Parkway and Straightaway Drive.