Town Hall with Nicole Collier and Transportation Agencies
On August 16, State Representative Nicole Collier held a Town Hall Meeting on transportation where about 60 people heard speakers giving information helpful to every person who drives. Chanel 5 news also took notice of the 820 project and plans to keep informed on changes for the 820 corridor.
The first portion of the meeting dealt with Toll Road charges and Representative Collier assured the people attending that Austin has heard us loud and clear and there WILL NOT be any more toll road built in the DFW area.
Arturo E. Ballesteros, Director of Government Affairs with NTTA explained how the money collected from our tolls is used to pay for the roads that are built & maintain these roads. He showed a slide of the board of directors that are appointed by the government of the counties that is the governing body for NTTA. Mr. Ballesteros also explained that NTTA does collect the tolls for the express lanes but they are not part of the NTTA system. Mr. Ballesteros let the audience know that if you have car trouble while using any of the NTTA toll roads that you should call 999 on your cell phone for help and said you should stay in your car until help arrives.
Richard Martinez, Assistant Director for the City of Fort Worth Transportation & Public Works Department spoke next and gave information on street lights in the Fort Worth area. Mr. Martinez asked the audience who should you call when you see a light that is damaged on not working. Most of the people present said it City of Fort Worth and he said that was the correct answer. This includes neighborhoods and highway lights. There are an estimated 676,000 lights in Fort Worth and it cost $2.00 a month to run the LED lights and $5.00 to $10.00 to run the other. There are in the process of revamping all City and Highway lighting to LED lights and they are doing it in sections. Not only will the LED lights save money they will put out a brighter light. The number to call to report and outage is 817-392-1234. In January of 2019 the City will be going to a 311 system but until then please continue to use the 817-392-1234.
Ricardo Gonzales, Director of Transportation, Planning, & Development gave information on the 820/Southwest Connector. TXDOT heard from a very large amount of residents after the public meeting last month at Dunbar High School and TXDOT engineers have started revising the 820 expansion plan to keep some of current main entry ramps open.
Listed below are some of the revisions that they are working on.
New plans are being considered to keep the southbound Brentwood Stair ramp include with a different kind of exit ramp for the Meadowbrook exit. They are also revising plans for the Northbound 820 at Meadowbrook, so that drivers in our area do not lose easy access to the 1-30 ramps east and west.
The bridge at Craig Street will see massive improvement, with car, pedestrian and bicycle lanes to allow easy access to the Handley Rec Center and FWISD football field but the walk over bridge will have to be eliminated. The pedestrian cross over bridge no longer meets the Americans with Disabilities standards for wheelchair ramps and improvements to this bridge would cost more than keeping it. The Craig street bridge improvements are supposed to make crossing the freeway much easier for parents and kids who are walking/biking.
Kat Kroll, president of BOHN, asked "Since you want us to use this street to access I-30 west, what is the name of the street just south of Luby's and the water tower that connects Bridgewood to Bridge and the I-30 west entrance ramp?
Not one of them knew the answer! Since that road was modified (five years ago?), it has never had a street sign or actual name. Google maps has no name for it.
State Representative Nicole Collier District 95 had the attendees write question on a card which she read and asked of the agencies representatives to respond.
Representative Collier has asked TXDOT to have answers and revised drawings available in 2 months, (mid-October) when she plans another town hall. As soon as we have the time, date and place, we will publish the information when it becomes available. Representative Collier was impressed that TXDOT had already been working on the 820/Southwest Connector project and had taken into account of the many Emails and letters they have received and had already come up with numerous revised plans. She thanked all of the representatives from the different departments for staying 30 minutes over the time allotted to make sure every question was answered.
Please help everyone in East Fort Worth become a responsible community activist regarding the changes that will affect everyone in this area. Make your voice heard though your neighborhood associations, there are 21 in the area, so everyone should be able to find one that fits their need. All of the neighborhood associations work together when a project this large comes along and your voice matters. Anyone that is interested can go to the TXDOT web site for updates. The site is www.TXDOT.gov/southeastconnector
Handley Neighborhood Association President
Handley Neighborhood Association Treasurer
Accident Heat Map
The next phase is the Prepare Preliminary Design & Environmental Assessment thru the winter of 2019. Another public hearing is scheduled for the Winter of 2019, with construction to begin in 2020.
visit www.txdot.gov Search for "Southeast Connector" or use this link.
Curtis Loftis, P.E. TxDOT Project Manager
Southeast Connector, TxDOT Fort Worth District
2501 S.W. Loop 820, Fort Worth, TX 76133
letter from Curtis F. Loftis, TxDOT
to Judy Taylor, President of Handley Neighborhood Association
The current design does show the removal of the northbound entrance ramp from Meadowbrook Drive to I-820 and the removal of the northbound entrance ramp from Craig Street to I-820. Currently there are no new entrance ramps planned to replace these ramps.
The intent of this design was to reduce the weaving on the main lanes. Traffic from Meadowbrook Drive and Craig Street will still be able to get access I-820 north, I-30 east and I-30 west.
Traffic from Meadowbrook Drive and Craig Street wanting to go to I-820 north; could go north through the Brentwood Stair intersection and use the existing on ramp, continue on the collector distributor road and get onto I-820 north.
Traffic from Meadowbrook Drive and Craig Street wanting to go to I-30 east could go north through the Brentwood Stair intersection and go to Handley Drive, take a left and use the existing entrance ramp on Handley Road near Works Street to go to I-30 east.
Traffic from Meadowbrook Drive and Craig Street wanting to go to I-30 west could take a left (go west) at Brentwood Stair Road, then take a right (go north) at Bridgewood Drive, take a left at the access road (between Bridgewood Drive and Bridge Street) and take a left onto the existing on ramp to I-30 west.
This proposed recommended design is not final. If public input is that they want the northbound entrance ramp at Meadowbrook Drive to remain, it is possible that it can or TxDOT can try to develop a different design where it can be retained.
TxDOT’s main goal would be to provide the safest design and reduce weaving on the main lanes. One potential design change could be too kept the existing northbound entrance ramp from Meadowbrook Drive near its current location and combine the northbound I-820 exit for Brentwood Stair with a new northbound exit to Meadowbrook Drive; that is proposed to be further south of the existing exit ramp today. If you plan to attend the Public Meeting tomorrow I can try to explain this better with the layout. Northbound I-820 traffic wanting to go to Brentwood Stair would have to go through an additional signal. With any proposed new design, TxDOT would try to limit ROW impacts and potential displacements.
A traffic study will need to be performed for this project; it will help in determining the safest design for travelling public.
Curtis F. Loftis, P.E.
TxDOT - Fort Worth District, 2501 S.W. Loop 820, Fort Worth, TX 76133
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