Fort Worth Mulls Options for Berry, University Closure

Intersection to be closed for either six weeks or 10 months

Businesses near Texas Christian University are worried about losing a lot of money this summer with the closure of a major intersection.

Fort Worth will either close the intersection of Berry Street and University Drive for six weeks or keep some lanes open and prolong the pain for 10 months.

Sandra Dennehy, chair of the Berry Street Initiative, described the two options as a "real quick, quick fix versus a slow bleed."

"I think that for those people that understand the two different options, that the leaning is for complete closure," she said.

Between 35,000 and 40,000 vehicles pass through the intersection each day.

"Closing the intersection is going to hurt us a lot," said Zahid Mehmood, the owner of a 7-Eleven at the corner. "My business is going to completely shut down for two months."

He said he worries he may have to lay off his 10 employees without any traffic.

"If they open one lane to let the traffic or if they do construction at nighttime and open back up, it's going to help us to keep opening for our business," Mehood said.

But other nearby business owners said they are in favor of getting the project over quickly.

"Do the fast one," said Sumter Bruton, the owner of Record Town. "Just close it all up and just do it as quick as you can."

The intersection upgrade is the next step in continued improvements to make Berry Street more pedestrian-friendly. Some of the work was completed years ago.

The intersection is right off the campus of TCU. The university supports the closure, which allow work to be completed before the fall semester begins in August.

"We believe it is safer to accomplish this work during the summer, when student traffic -- both pedestrian and vehicular -- is significantly less dense than when school is in session," TCU spokeswoman Lisa Albert said.

A neighborhood meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at University Christian Church.

The City Council will vote on the options Tuesday. Either way, work on the intersection will begin June 11.

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