Chisholm Trail Parkway Main Lanes Will Open May 11

Weather permitting the toll road will open as planned

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014)

    On May 11, the first toll road is set to open in Tarrant and Johnson counties. The 28-mile Chisholm Trail Parkway connects Downtown Fort Worth and Cleburne.

    But drivers along University Drive may notice that part of the highway looks far from finished just days before the scheduled opening date.

    On Tuesday, NBC 5 was given a tour of the Chisholm Trail Parkway, parts of which look ready to open today. But the North Texas Tollway Authority said the plan remains for the grand opening for a week from Sunday, weather permitting, of course.

    Construction crews are still busy pouring concrete, installing safety rails and, of course, tolling equipment along the parkway. Where the roadway ends and begins in Downtown Fort Worth there is still activity, but work there won't be finished in some spots by the opening date.

    "I know as you drive the west freeway in Fort Worth you may think, 'Gosh there's lot of work to be done here,'" said Kenneth Barr, NTTA board chairman, at the Tarrant County Commissioners Court on Tuesday.

    Barr admits the work looks far from done, but assured the commissioners that NTTA staff assures him they will open on time.

    The part of the CTP that crosses University Drive remains unfinished with exposed beams, no beams at all and concrete waiting to be poured. It is arguably the most visible part of the project. It's current state has prompted some concerns and County Judge Glen Whitley to joke during the meeting.

    "Are we going to fall off the ramps here?" Whitley said.

    "No one is going to fall off the ramps at 30, I promise you," said Elizabeth Mow, an NTTA employee who briefed the court.

    While the main lanes of CTP will open as planned, the main connector from Interstate 30 won't, at least not for a few more months.

    The reason why is that NTTA wants to get traffic moving, because while not fully finished the parkway is functional.

    "That's a great way to describe it," said NTTA spokesperson Michael Rey. "It'll be a functional, safe roadway that will open up a lot of mobility for southwest Fort Worth all the way through Johnson County."

    Those looking to take the roadway from downtown can still do that, but will have to use on-ramps until the connector is up and running.

    Interchange ramps between the parkway and Interstate 20 also will not open until later this summer. The first priority is to get the main lanes open.

    NTTA expects the parkway to take some time to achieve its fully developed plan, including the connectors, landscaping and one day, lane expansion in Johnson County.