A $1.2 million trailhead project of the Tarrant Regional Water District near the Naval Air Station Fort Worth sits unfinished and inaccessible to the public nearly a year after it was supposed to be completed.
Work at Airfield Falls Trailhead, located just outside the base’s gates on Pumphrey Drive in Westworth Village, apparently stopped a few months ago.
But the project’s contractor and water district officials are not offering details as to why.
Linda Christie, the water district’s community and government relations director, issued a statement, saying, “We have been working through some issues with the contractor, but hope to have the situation resolved soon so we can move forward with construction and get this long-awaited project open to the public. We have met with the contractor several times over the last few months in attempt to resolve those issues.”
Tom Struhs, of Struhs Commercial Construction in Fort Worth, the contractor, said the project is about 85 percent complete, but he declined to comment further.
The Airfield Falls Trailhead has been planned since 2011 when the water district paid to have a McDonnell-Douglas C-9 from the Naval Air Station Fort Worth disassembled. The wings and tail section are to become a centerpiece of the park, located where folks would jump the curb and park cars on the grass to gain access to Tarrant County’s only natural waterfall.
A couple of years ago, the district connected the site to the Trinity Trails, more than 40 miles of recreational trails along the Trinity River and its tributaries. The trailhead will have a 30-space parking lot, restrooms, picnic facilities and demonstration gardens.
Meanwhile, Roger Unger, Westworth Village’s administrator, said he just hopes the trailhead gets completed by the time his city starts construction on a $2.2 million trail system that will run throughout Westworth Village. That’s expected to start next summer.
“We don’t know the specifics of the problem,” Unger said.
Westworth Village’s trail system will also provide additional access to the Airfield Falls Trailhead. In September, the city was awarded a $1.7 million Transportation Alternatives Program grant for the project.
Westworth Village owns the 2.5-acre property where the Airfield Falls Trailhead is under construction, but the water district has an interlocal agreement with the city to build and maintain the trailhead and trails there.
Outdoor enthusiasts have access to the trail system behind the Westworth Village City Hall, near White Settlement Road.
Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727