United States

Billion Dollar TXDOT Project Set to Remake Fort Worth's Southeast Connector

A billion dollar project is on the way to rework the "Southeast Connector" in Fort Worth where I-20, I-820 and US 287 all come together.

TXDOT is trying to relieve a bottleneck. But neighbors worry one part of the plan, to shut down two on-ramps onto 820 will create a traffic nightmare of its own.

You'll always find a line at the Meadowbrook Drive entrance ramp headed north onto 820.

"There's always cars stopped at that light," said Judy Taylor, President of the Handley Neighborhood Association.

It’s how Taylor makes it to regular doctor's appointments and any other business toward downtown Fort Worth.

"Makes it an issue for me if I have to go another exit through three more lights to get on the freeway," Taylor said.

That's what will happen if a new TXDOT proposal goes through to close the Meadowbrook northbound on-ramp and the one directly south of it at Craig Street, pushing all traffic onto the Brentwood Stair entrance.

"It's going to put three times more of us at that one intersection," Taylor said.

Neighbors voiced their concerns at a transportation town hall meeting hosted by TX State Representative Nicole Collier Thursday night, where TXDOT laid out its early ideas to transform the "Southeast Connector."

"It's Interstate 20, Interstate 820 and US 287 all coming together," said TXDOT Public Information Officer Jodi Hodges.

The mish-mash of highways was designed in the 1960s for a very different traffic load. It includes a number of left-hand exits and merging lanes.

"The bulk of the crashes have been due to the weaving and merging of traffic,” Hodges said. “So the proposed design will minimize that."

But neighbors worry the proposal may fix one problem, just to open up another.

"I think they're just going to relocate the bottleneck," said Thomas Brown, Vice President of the Handley Neighborhood Association

TXDOT stresses this is just the beginning of the process and their plans are not final. They'll be taking public opinion for another year and a half before settling on a design, with the goal of starting construction in 2022.

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