Starting Monday, drivers will need to find a new route between Berry Street and University Drive.
At Tuesday night’s meeting, City Council members unanimously approved a plan to close the intersection of University Drive and Berry Street to fast-track work on the Berry Street initiative. The intersection will be closed Monday.
“My initial reaction was not no, but heck no, but [then] we looked into a full closure for six to seven, maybe even eight weeks as opposed to 300 days,” Council member Joel Burns, whose district includes the affected area, said.
Last week city planners said signs warning drivers of the upcoming closure and detour routes will start going up as early as Wednesday since council members approved the plan.
People who were initially against the complete closure called Burns and told him they were in support of the closure after a workshop that further detailed the plans for the intersection, he said.
In suggesting the expedited option, officials with the city planning and development department noted that:
- the project would be finished before the fall semester begins for TCU and Fort Worth schools.
- construction would be finished prior to the fall when special events, such as Big 12 sporting events, are expected to flood the area with traffic
By comparison 10 months of construction would mean significant congestion on roads that estimated 35,000 vehicles use daily, according to planners. The approach would mean:
- street parking on Berry Street would be banned so that two lanes of traffic in each direction could be kept open.
- during the first four months University Drive would be narrowed to two southbound lanes and 1 northbound lane.
- While the final six months would see University Drive down to one lane in each direction.
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, Arty Wheaton-Rodriguez said, project manager.