Fort Worth

Homeowners Confront Construction Crew Over Road Project Near Newark

One man hospitalized after heavy equipment appeared to hit him

A confrontation between homeowners and a construction crew on Saturday highlighted an ongoing legal battle between the neighbors and a developer northwest of Fort Worth.

One man was injured when a worker in an excavator drove forward, appearing to hit him.

The crew was trying to extend Edgemon Way to connect to a much larger neighborhood planned nearby, but residents of the established Newark Ranch said the road is too small to handle so much traffic and suggest developers find another route.

Sheriff's deputies who were already on the scene told the neighbors they had to allow the work.

"You have no other option," one deputy said, according to several videos of the incident.

Suddenly, a worker in an excavator drove forward, appearing to knock a man to the ground.

"Are you kidding me?" a neighbor shouted.

A deputy ordered the worker to stop.

"Get down!" she said.

Another deputy seemed to suggest the victim was to blame.

"He saw it coming. It's like jumping out in front of a vehicle," the second officer said.

"He still needs to stop," a neighbor shot back.

An ambulance took the man to the hospital but he went home hours later.

Nobody was arrested.

The incident came amid a tense legal battle that started more than two years ago.

"We just feel this connection from one neighborhood to another is wrong," said Beth Higgins, who lives closest to the road extension.

Higgins and her neighbors said their small street simply wasn't built to handle so much traffic. Newark Ranch has about 100 homes. The new neighborhood will be more than 400.

"Our neighborhood is 100 percent against it and we're trying to fight it every way we know how," said neighbor Tabitha Tucciarone.

It has developed into a legal mess.

The Fort Worth Plan Commission initially approved the project because the proposed subdivision is in the city's extra-territorial jurisdiction, or ETJ. But the road extension is beyond the city's reach in Wise County, residents said. 

Homeowners originally filed their case in Fort Worth because the planned project is in Tarrant County and Fort Worth approved it, but they later filed a separate case in Wise County because that is where the road in question is located.

"We're just asking them to find a better way," Tucciarone said.

The developer of the nearby, called Chisolm Springs, did not return a phone call seeking comment.

But Gerald Fowler, the attorney for a landowner working with the developer, said Edgemon Way was always envisioned to be expanded to the north.

He described the lawsuit as frivolous.

"When you buy (property) on the edge of the city, you know it's going to be built up around you," Fowler said.

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