Congresswoman Kay Granger (TX-12) called a high-level meeting with U.S Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and all parties involved with the financing of the Trinity Uptown bridges and transverse channels. Granger led the meeting on Friday which included Secretary LaHood, Texas Department of Transportation Commissioner Bill Meadows, TxDOT Fort Worth District Engineer Maribel Chavez, North Central Texas Council of Governments Transportation Director Michael Morris, a representative from the Tarrant Regional Water District and representatives from the City of Fort Worth. Afterwards, all parties announced that they would address the $22.3 million commitment to commence construction of the White Settlement Bridge and Roundabout in 2013; the third and final Trinity Uptown bridge that has yet to receive full funding.
Friday's commitment will mean the construction timeline will be moved up by three years to the summer of 2013, and will provide better access to downtown Fort Worth during the construction process. Secretary LaHood pledged to work closely with Fort Worth on the project with monthly scheduled meetings between federal officials and the City of Fort Worth to help ensure the strong partnership continues throughout the project.
"The New Trinity River Uptown Bridges project is important for the state of Texas and we will work closely with all of the stakeholders to keep the process moving so construction can get under way as soon as possible," said Secretary LaHood.
"Secretary LaHood's commitment to this historic project creates great momentum," said Granger. "TRV continues to move forward on time and under budget because of the successful federal, state and local partnerships we have developed. TRV is a plan for Fort Worth's future and will bring 16,000 jobs and over $1 billion in economic benefits to our community."
"The Trinity River Vision is a unique, multi-faceted plan that will improve the quality of life and livability of Fort Worth. The White Settlement Bridge is a vital piece of the plan to ensure efficient movement of traffic. I am pleased to see Secretary LaHood's commitment to this project and glad that the Texas Department of Transportation could be a part of its success," Bill Meadows said.
"The Dallas-Fort Worth region has been successful at finding solutions to challenging transportation issues because local, state and federal partners are willing to work together and bring innovation to the table," Michael Morris said.
Fort Worth has grown by over 39 percent in the last ten years, and was named the fastest-growing metropolitan area by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2011. However, little of this growth has occurred in the central city area of Fort Worth. To mitigate the negative impacts of suburban sprawl and to ensure Fort Worth's continued economic growth, the city has committed to invest in urban infrastructure improvements such as flood control, bridges, roads, and sewer lines.
In October 2011, the Regional Transportation Council of the North Central Texas Council of Governments committed $15 million toward construction of the Henderson Street and Main Street bridges in Trinity Uptown. This local funding was in addition to $23 million in federal funding that was secured by Congresswoman Granger.
The award-winning Trinity River Vision has been called a "model project" by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. TRV is a partnership between the City of Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas Department of Transportation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Tarrant Regional Water District, and Streams and Valleys.