Driving near campus this summer will be very different since City Council decided to close the intersection of Berry Street and University Drive in order to fast track Berry Street’s construction process.
The accelerated plan came up several weeks ago when Fort Worth officials asked the project’s contractor, Dan McClendon of McClendon Construction Co., how fast he could finish the intersection with a complete closure. McClendon said officials were concerned that doing the work over a 10 month time span would be too disruptive.
Since then, city officials have publicly discussed the expedited plan and held a public hearing on the matter. They met with more than 60 people who wanted to know how they would be affected by the new plan, compared to the original 10-month timetable for construction.
During the meeting, officials talked about the proposed detours and answered various questions from the audience. Project manager Arty Wheaton-Rodriguez said signs warning of the pending construction and detours will be put up as early as Wednesday if the council approves the accelerated plan.
To manage traffic along the detoured route, city officials plan to:
Install a three-way stop at the intersection of Bellaire Drive North and Rogers Avenue. This route will be used for drivers going southbound on University Drive to get back onto University Drive or turn onto Berry Street.
Remove part of the median on University Drive to create a temporary path so drivers on Bellaire Drive North can turn left onto University Drive. Currently, left turns are prohibited. Despite the barricades drivers will be able to still turn right to get into the Shell station.
Drivers will also be able to turn left on University Drive from West Bowie Street so that they can reach the other side of University Drive and go west on Berry Street.
If the accelerated plan is approved, there will be no on-street parking along Rogers Avenue, Cockrell Avenue, West Bowie Street and Bellaire Drive North. City officials said they are working with TCU to see if the university will allow people to park in on-campus parking lots during the closure.
TCU spokesperson Lisa Albert said that nothing is official but the university will try and assist the city.
Drivers will be able to reach all sides of the intersection up to the barricades and get around them to reach corner businesses like Shell and 7-Eleven. Access to all businesses and residences will be maintained 24 hours a day during this period, Wheaton-Rodriguez said.
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