Traffic will be slowing down around Bluebonnet Circle because of a new construction project that is set to begin in January of 2018.
The project will replace existing water lines in Bluebonnet Circle and reconstruct the street in concrete, said Jeff Allen, communications specialist for the Fort Worth Department of Transportation and Public Works.
The inside lane of the traffic circle will be painted and turned into parking for businesses in the circle and visitors to the park.
The new inside lane of parking will add 60 to 80 parking spots, said Angie Watts, president of the Bluebonnet Place Neighborhood Association.
Allen said the following can be expected as a result of the construction:
- Large trucks will occasionally transport pipes, supplies and construction equipment to the staging and storage areas
- Asphalt roads will be removed and replaced with a new concrete surface
- Driveways and sidewalks will be replaced
- Crews will dig trenches to install the new water line
- Residents and businesses will always have access to their properties
While every effort will be made to minimize the impact of the construction, residents and businesses will experience some inconvenience, Allen said.
Watts said she hopes the changes to the circle will slow down traffic and make the area more pedestrian-friendly.
“We want people to walk to the park safely,” she said. “Obviously you’re crossing the street, but you shouldn’t have to run for your life.”
Some business owners voiced their concern about the construction and changes coming to the circle.
“Pulling out into traffic and people trying to walk around sounds like a holy nightmare to me,” said Val Arnett, owner of Junker Val’s Antiques, Vintage Junk & Jewelry. “It’ll slow down traffic, but there’ll be wrecks all the time.”
Parker Daniel, owner of Fort Worth iPhone Repair, said he is worried construction will hurt his business.
“You know what happens with construction: everyone avoids that area like the plague,” Daniel said. “The part of the plan that I’m totally for is slowing the circle and making it to one lane, but not at the expense of shutting down all these businesses.”
The changes coming to Bluebonnet Circle make Arnett fear for the future of her business.
“I’m going to lose a lot of my traffic because people go this way to go to the grocery store or go home and they’re going to stop going this way,” Arnett said. “Little guys like me never survive.”
There has been poor communication between the City of Fort Worth, Bluebonnet Village and the business owners in Bluebonnet Circle, Daniel said.
“They keep so many things from us,” Daniel said. “It just sucks because we’d like to get more involved but we’re not given the opportunity. If you’re not one of them, they don’t want to talk to you and they don’t want to hear your opinion.”