At Monday’s meeting of the Parker County commissioners, officials gave an update on construction projects and provided information about another transportation public meeting taking place next week.
Freese and Nichols Engineer Tim Sansone went over the monthly report on some projects, including East Loop Phase 1.
“Nearly all four lanes are complete, there’s just a little segment at [U.S.] 180 that’s delayed due to utility relocation schedules with the city of Weatherford,” Sansone said. “We’re anticipating completion of this project in February with all four lanes open to traffic.”
Town hall meetings have been held to gain resident feedback on transportation projects within the county. Parker County Judge Pat Deen said another transportation meeting— which will include city mayors and officials with the Texas Department of Transportation, North Texas Council of Governments and Regional Transportation Council — will be held at 6 p.m. on Jan. 21 at New River Fellowship Church in Hudson Oaks.
“The goal is to sit down and just brainstorm and talk about finding solutions to the problems we currently have specific to the I-20 congestion and increasing a timeline that six months ago wasn’t even a plan, and quite frankly should have been done 10 years ago,” Deen said. “We want to partner with the cities within the county — both financially and collaboratively — as well as with the Council of Governments and TxDOT to accelerate that timeline to increase lanes on I-20 as well as address the concerns we are dealing with on [Farm-to-Market Road] 51, among other key issues.”
Although the meeting is open to the public, questions will not be taken during this specific event.
Deen said those that travel I-20, especially to Fort Worth and back during the morning and evenings, know how the traffic is.
“For anyone that comes back from Fort Worth in the evening hours from 5-7 p.m., you’re going to be in standstill traffic for quite some time, so this is a very important project,” Deen said. “The objective of this [town hall] is to see if there are any unused transportation bond funds to utilize. This isn’t just a Parker County issue, it’s every single city in here.”
The meeting will also focus on FM 51, which has seen multiple fatality accidents over the years.
“One, this is about saving lives and two, it’s about dispersing traffic because with all the economic development success here we have all these keys to come to Parker County, but we’re not dealing with dispersing the congestion and traffic that we have and that is a priority that is specific to [FM] 51,” Deen said.
Deen said it will be important to have a plan in place to take to the NTCOG for potential funding of transportation projects.
“You don’t go to the Council of Governments with your hand out saying, ‘Here’s all these problems and we’d like you to give us $50 million,’ but if you come to them with a solution-based approach as a partnership with money that you’re willing to contribute, then we’ll find a very willing partner to also contribute funds, potentially more than a match, to start dealing with the growth,” Deen said. “This is the beginning of a unified, one voice of Parker County, which includes our cities.”
Details about the Jan. 21 meeting will be posted on the county’s website at parkercountytx.com.
Sansone also went over the East Bankhead Highway project that’s currently underway where culverts are being improved and turn lanes are being added to areas of the roadway.
“We’re doing six culvert extensions and we’ve completed one of those culverts that’s just located west of Ranch House Road. A right turn lane has been installed at the intersection of Ranch House Road and that’s complete and open to traffic. We are proceeding — culvert five is under construction and that’s just east of Ranch House Road,” Sansone said. “The big message I would like to highlight to the court is that we are closing culvert one, next to [Farm-to-Market Road] 1187 and Champions Drive. We’ve talked to Aledo ISD, Willow Park and the surrounding community, so that portion of East Bankhead between Champions Drive and 1187 will be closed for approximately 30 days while they complete the extension of that culvert.”
The portion of Bankhead Highway will be closed starting Jan. 20.
For more information visit parkercountytransportation.com.