Hulen construction causes traffic congestion

When Louisa Lugo began her education at the university more than two years ago, the city of Fort Worth began road construction near Vickery Boulevard. Two years later, the construction on Hulen Street continued as part of a larger construction project, called the Chisholm Trail Parkway.

Students who have to commute to campus via Hulen Street have dealt with traffic delays due to construction for months. Lugo is one of these students.

“The Hulen Street bridge over Vickery is hellacious,” Lugo, a sophomore communication studies major, said. “If you’re trying to get to I-30 by Hulen in the mornings, evenings or even on Saturdays, there is always traffic going over that bridge, and it can get dangerous.”

Michael Peters, public information officer for the Texas Department of Transportation, said the Chisholm Trail Parkway project will be a 28-mile toll road when completed. The $1.6 billion project would provide a continuous route from Interstate 30 in downtown Fort Worth to U.S. Route 67 in Cleburne.

Junior anthropology and criminal justice double major Azucena Cruz said that although she lived 15 minutes away from the university, she had seen more congestion than usual on Hulen Street since last semester due to the construction.

“I try to leave at least 45 minutes before my class even starts, just to count time for getting here if there is traffic, then to park and wait for a shuttle,” Cruz said.

North Texas Tollway Authority Media Relations Manager Michael Rey said the city narrowed Hulen Street at I-30 from two lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction to accommodate construction. That is what has caused the increase in traffic congestion in the area.

But most of the construction would occur overnight to decrease traffic congestion during the day as much as possible, Rey said.

Several areas of the city have undergone construction projects in recent months because of the amount of change and growth occurring in the area, he said. The city would attempt to limit the impact of the construction as much as possible while completing the construction in a timely manner.

“We’re looking at a discussion of how do we get more people through southwest Fort Worth, so this is finally the activity that’s going to bring it about,” Rey said.

Construction on the Hulen Street bridge should reach completion in the near future, Rey said. The rest of the Chisholm Trail project is estimated to be completed in mid-2014.