Berry Street and University Drive intersection is open, more construction to begin soon

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    The Berry Street and University Drive intersection is complete and crews will start tearing up stretches of Berry Street as the city continues the second phase of redevelopment.

    Crosswalk signals are updated and the ramps meet the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), said Arty Wheaton-Rodriguez, senior planner for the Fort Worth Planning and Development Department. TCU provided four decorative Horned Frogs tiles that are set in a, now, smoother street.

    “The intersection, which was scary for pedestrians, will become much more pedestrian friendly,” former Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Don Mills said

    Good weather and the decision to close the intersection completely allowed contractors to complete all the improvements three weeks ahead of schedule, Wheaton-Rodriguez said.

    The intersection illustrates what a street can become once citizens and the city work together, Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communication Tracy Syler-Jones said.

    TCU contributed $250,000 for landscape and streetscape to keep the initiative going, TCU alumna Linda Clark said. Clark is on the executive committee for the Berry Street Initiative.

    Crews will begin demolition of the north side of Berry Street, near Barnes & Noble, on Wednesday, Wheaton-Rodriguez said.

    Wheaton-Rodriguez said that stretch of work should be completed in October, and will be followed by construction of a median. He expects construction on the south side of Berry Street to begin in mid-December.

    There will be no on-street parking while this work is being done.

    The intersection opening will finish off the first stage of a four-phase project that is scheduled to end by April 2013, Wheaton-Rodriguez said. The first phase began on June 11.

    “Hopefully everything will run just as smoothly as the first project did,” Wheaton-Rodriguez said.

    City officials decided to redevelop Berry Street in the 1990s after the appearance started to decline.

    “In the mid-1990s, the stores were closing on [Berry] Street and the graffiti was happening and the place was a mess,” Clark said. She said former Fort Worth Mayor Kenneth Barr asked her to help develop a plan to revitalize Berry Street.

    She said they received bond money to begin the redevelopment of Berry Street from University Drive and to Evans Avenue.

    It will take about 15 years from now to see the finished Berry Street project, Clark said.

    Mills added, “We really won’t appreciate this intersection until the entire project is done.”