Bellaire Drive South detour will continue through September

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The lane closures and detours that have choked traffic along Bellaire Drive South should be clear by October, according to city officials.

Roy Jageman, a spokesperson for the Colonial Hills Neighborhood Association, said in a phone interview Wednesday that the extended construction has been disruptive for neighborhood residents.
Overton Park resident Pilar Reyes said the construction delays her commute to the park on Overton Park Drive East.
“We usually come here and take five to seven minutes,” Reyes said. “Now you take 10 to 12 minutes. They are taking so long.”
Construction crews are replacing outdated water lines, said Mary Gugliuzza, a spokesperson from the Fort Worth Water Department.
Crews are replacing water lines along Bellaire Drive south between Overton Park Drive East and Bellaire Drive West, Gugliuzza said.
Crews can then begin replacing wastewater lines along Overton Park Drive East. A second phase of construction should be completed by the end of January if weather permits, according to Gugliuzza.
Gugliuzza said the construction project is needed because of a history of breaks on the Bellaire Drive South water line dating back to its installation in 1937.
She added that the Bellaire Drive South water line and Overton Park Drive East wastewater line replacements will increase capacity for ongoing development and change in use of development in the surrounding community.
Gugliuzza said poor weather has played a role in postponing construction on Bellaire Drive South past its original deadline, the end of July.
Meanwhile, residents living near Bellaire Drive South are maneuvering around lane closures and traffic detours.
Overton Park neighborhood resident Todd Price said construction piping left behind on Overton Park Drive East is a safety hazard for kids at play.
Overton Park resident Todd Price poses for a photo in the park on Overton Park Drive East.
Overton Park resident Todd Price poses for a photo in the park on Overton Park Drive East.

Piping left behind from construction sits on Overton Park Drive East.
Piping left behind from construction sits on Overton Park Drive East.

“I’m a little frustrated that they dropped off all this sewer pipe,” Price said as he pointed at the piping separating the park from the street. “My son will come down off the bridge and not see the cars on the other side.”

Tanglewood neighborhood resident Lynn Kelly said the construction posed a danger for kids back in school but was necessary for the water infrastructure.
“I guess it has to be done because otherwise somebody’s house might be flooded,” Kelly said. “Some of this infrastructure is kind of old.”

Update: Project Manager Robert Sauceda said July 2017 was the original deadline for water and wastewater improvements around Bellaire. He said the project has been running smoothly and is ahead of schedule. Construction should be completed before Christmas.