Drivers who take the often busy West 7th Street between downtown and the Cultural District will have to find a new route this week.
Those who frequent the corridor past Montgomery Plaza know that trains on the Fort Worth and Western Railroad track block traffic frequently throughout the day, but the street will be totally closed at the railroad crossing for three days starting Tuesday. The crossing is between Boxcar Boulevard and Matisse Drive.
Here’s how drivers can get around:
▪ The official detour takes drivers down West Lancaster via Summit Avenue and University Drive.
▪ Those moving between downtown and and University Drive can also take Interstate 30 or Chisholm Trail Parkway
▪ Drivers with more time on their hands looking for a scenic route may be able to take Trinity Park Drive from University Drive and go through the park to Foch Street.
West 7th has become a busy corridor in part because of the booming entertainment district but also because White Settlement Road remains closed as crews work on a bridge needed for the Panther Island project.
The railroad will be replacing the track and ties at the intersection, along with other related work. The city will also level and smooth the roadway there. The project totals a little more than $125,000, split evenly between the city and the railroad.
This work is unrelated to a potential redesign of West 7th aimed to make the area stretching between University Drive and the Trinity River easier to use for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Preliminary sketches shown to the City Council include dedicated, protected bike lanes on both sides of West 7th, a landscaped median and push outs at intersections that shorten pedestrian crossings.
A public meeting on the design is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Mondayat the University of North Texas Health Science Center’s Carl E. Everett Education Building. The city has about $8.5 million from a 2018 bond for improvements.