Trinity River Vision Bridge Work Set to Intensify

Bridges will help make the Panther Island development a reality

Traffic around downtown Fort Worth is about to get interesting.

Work on the three Trinity River Vision bridges, which are pivotal pieces of the Panther Island development, is about to pick up.

By mid-September, closures and detours will be fully in place and in use along North Main Street, Henderson Street and White Settlement Road.

"We're just really happy to see it finally get off the ground," said Mark Rauscher, the City of Fort Worth TRV director.

As the project gets off the ground, that means traffic along Henderson will be diverted to a newly created detour road just to the east. North Main Street traffic will be reduced to one lane in each way and use North Commerce Street to bypass the construction. And on White Settlement Road, you'll have to use side streets to get to University or Henderson to get around.

Work will also be focused on a new traffic circle at Henderson and White Settlement.

"That's the reason why we're putting in the parallel or bypass detour routes, in order to minimize any impacts to the traveling public along Henderson and North Main Street in particular," Rauscher said.

Rauscher said the detour plan has been in the works for months. Work to connect the detour roads to the main lanes will begin in mid-August, with traffic taking over the lanes in September.

"We're really excited to get it all implemented in the next month or so," Rauscher said.

But not everyone is excited. Many businesses along Henderson Street near the detour are concerned.

The manager of the Henderson Street Bazaar told NBC 5 he fears the three-decade-old business could be seriously impacted. Down the street at the Little Germany Restaurant, they're worried, too.

"I wouldn't want this for anybody, no," said Julie Martin, a restaurant employee.

Traffic will no longer drive right by the restaurant, but Martin said they'll do what they have to in order to survive.

"On both sides we'll put a sign letting them know we're here still," Martin said.

The project will cost about $65 million and take around three years for the bridges to be finished.

"With the bridges coming up out of the ground here soon that's really going to be the first sign this project is really happening," Rauscher said.

Rauscher said that The Texas Department of Transportation will work closely with area businesses and property owners to stay informed as the project progresses and address any issues.

There is a public informational meeting Monday, Aug. 4 at 6 p.m. at the Fort Worth Police and Fire Training Academy.

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