The U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers has approved the funding to finish the Trinity River Vision/Central City Flood Control Project, U.S. Reps. Kay Granger (R-TX 12th District) and Marc Veasey (D-TX 33rd District) announced Wednesday.
Granger, the Republican Leader of the House Appropriations Committee, said the USACOE work plan includes $403 million to complete the final design of all project components and the construction of the bypass channel that will run under bridges that have already been completed.
Once the bypass is finished, the new channel will create a mixed-use island north of downtown Fort Worth dubbed Panther Island.
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Rose Badillo, owner of M&O Grill Station, said the project has presented challenges to her business. While the bridges were still under construction, it made it difficult for customers to reach her restaurant.
"The bridge that recently just got opened up, that cut about 35% of our revenue out for over 15 years," Badillo said. "Traffic could not travel through here."
Panther Island Project
Michael Brandon, the owner of Trophy Arts on White Settlement Road, said he experienced a similar challenge. Brandon said he was hopeful that once the project is completed, it could potentially spur development in the area.
"We’re personalizing things every day for corporate clients but if this area continues to develop to a retail-friendly area, then we can adapt with the area," he said.
In response to the announcement, Granger called it a "great day for Fort Worth."
“Having experienced unprecedented growth since I was mayor, we are now the 12th largest city in the nation. But with growth comes responsibility. As the leader in flood control, I thank the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for understanding that responsibility and addressing that need for Fort Worth. Our community will be safer thanks to their hard work and tireless commitment” said Granger in a prepared statement. “I also thank U.S. Representative Marc Veasey for helping this project cross the finish line and Mayor Mattie Parker for her commitments to bring an unwavering community vision to its ultimate reality. Today Fort Worth will be safer and stronger.”
Veasey said the USACOE will invest $14 billion this year in more than 500 projects across 52 states and territories as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
"The funding from today's announcement will be used to help projects like the Trinity River Vision/Central City flood control project by increasing climate resilience and making long-overdue improvements at ports and waterways, as well as securing additional funds through supplemental appropriations to help impacted states and tribes recover and become more resilient to natural disasters," Veasey said in a statement. "I am pleased to have been a part of the bipartisan team that got this project over the goal line.”
Leah King, president of the Tarrant Regional Water District said the project will update the levee system to reduce the risk of flooding to more than 2,400 acres of Fort Worth neighborhoods valued at more than $2.4 billion.
“Today’s announcement is great news. This funding addresses Fort Worth’s flood risks that are a result of a rapidly growing population which has tripled in size since our current levee system was built in 1960," said King.
“This is the go-time moment we have been anxiously awaiting. We had confidence in the Corps of Engineers and our federal representatives. This funding announcement delivers the certainty that will make our community safer and the green light for further investment in the area. This is an incredible moment in Fort Worth’s history,” said Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker.
Granger, Veasey, Parker and King will discuss the project during a news conference scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday.