Road Work Frustrates Commuters, City Council

Council members to get update on road projects

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Some drivers have complaints about the condition of Jacksboro Highway in Fort Worth.

    Road construction is a daily frustration across the Metroplex, but that frustration is boiling over for some in Fort Worth.

    Commuters along Jacksboro Highway are getting tired of all the road work. Drivers say construction started weeks ago but they see little activity between highways 820 and 183.

    "It's just the rivets in the road -- it's like driving on train tracks," said Melissa Grard who works at Eight Ball Billiards and Bar along the highway. "It's extremely frustrating. I don't understand why they start a job and walk away from the job."

    Bumpy Commute on Jacksboro Highway

    [DFW] Bumpy Commute on Jacksboro Highway
    Some drivers have complaints about the condition of Jacksboro Highway in Fort Worth.

    Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Val Lopez said the work is on schedule, but that the agency is working with its contractor to complete the repaving of the highway as soon as possible.

    Lopez said Highway 199 was in desperate need of resurfacing. He said no major repairs were needed after the old asphalt was removed, but crews have had to manually patch up areas before they can repave.

    The project is due to be completed by the end of summer. The work is being done overnight to limit the impact on traffic, but Grard and others said they haven't seen any of that work for some time.

    "I've never seen any cones out, nothing," she said. "You figure if they're going to take this kind of time, they'd at least expand it out, you know?"

    Construction frustration doesn't just impact residents and commuters or in the time it takes to complete a project. During budget discussions last week several members of the Fort Worth City Council made their frustrations known to city staff about how long its taking for projects to go from planning to shovel ready.

    "It's an irritant to our citizens, it's an irritant to council," said Fort Worth City Councilman Jungus Jordan.

    Jordan, chair of the North Central Texas Regional Transportation Council, said the development and construction of major arterial roads is a regional and national problem. However, unlike some places, Fort Worth has the money to build, which is why the council is frustrated projects aren't being started quicker, he said.

    "We're quite frustrated that we haven't seen dirt moving, and we've asked the city manager to get dirt moving and get these roads repaired, because the money is there," Jordan said.

    Jordan said the city has put roughly $500 million into such projects in the last six years. He said he hears from constituents regularly about traffic issues as the city grows. The council has directed staff to come back on Aug. 30 with an update on all priority road projects.