40 Years in the Making; Southwest Parkway Could Finally Be Built

Construction on new parkway could begin in six months.

It has literally been on the drawing board for somewhere between 35 and 40 years, but the always ill-fated Southwest Parkway now appears to be on the verge of actually getting built and construction could start in the next six months.

The 28-mile toll road would connect downtown Fort Worth with Cleburne and other parts of Johnson County, but most importantly it would provide some relief for motorists who are forced to travel Hulen Street and Bryant-Irvin Road during the highly congested rush hours.

On Tuesday, the Fort Worth City Council voted to spend $1.2 million in order to share in the cost of a temporary "hump-lead" that must be built in the Union Pacific owned Davidson Rail Yard in order for the Southwest Parkway to be completed.

A hump-lead is a hill built into the rail yard that allows workers to connect boxcars with other boxcars by the shear force of gravity.

The Davidson Rail Yard is one of the busiest boxcar switching yards in the nation and is critical to moving commerce all across the U.S.

In order to complete the Southwest Parkway, a bridge must be built over the rail yard and the current "hump-lead" could not be used during construction, so a temporary one is necessary.

The North Texas Tollway Authority would share in the $2 million cost of the "hump-lead."

Plans call for the Southwest Parkway bridge to run underneath the Hulen Street bridge that currently crosses the rail yard.

Fort Worth City Councilman Jungus Jordan believes the "hump-lead" could be completed within six months.

Jordan said the Southwest Parkway could open as early as 2012.

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