West Berry revamp too lengthy

After months of students pulling U-turns, dodging potholes and swerving across confusing lanes, the West Berry Street Project is still not complete. The Berry Street Initiative began in 1997 with a vision for the street to become a place for business opportunities and for people to feel safe and socialize in an urban environment. The program funding was $1.5 million to clean up and urbanize Berry Street in order to make it an appealing street in the TCU community.

Rey Morales, general superintendent of McClendon Construction Co., told a Skiff reporter in April that the entire project would be completed by December. Tom Leuschen, capital improvements projects manager with the Fort Worth transportation and public works department, said in April that he expected the construction to last until early 2007.

Well, there is still a lot of work that needs to be completed for the street to reach the desired look. Streets are still blocked off, and there are still potholes in the road. The design for the street called for articulate intersection designs, landscaped medians, widened sidewalks, on-street parking, landscaping along the street’s edge and street furniture such as park benches. Some of these plans have been implemented, such as the on-street parking, but the project’s progress should be further along than it is.

The building and completion of the GrandMarc at Westberry Place apartment complex is also a part of this project. However, the GrandMarc has not quite lived up to its reputation and does not have functional businesses and restaurants on the ground floor as promised.

Also, with all the construction going on, it makes driving and walking to the restaurants and bars around West Berry at night dangerous and difficult. The construction paths change, and this can be a hazard to night-time drivers.

The Berry Street Project has the potential for the surrounding TCU area to be a college-friendly spot, but the extended time constraints of the construction are impeding the finished project.

Photo editor Jennifer Bickerstaff for the editorial board.