Behind the 30 mph speed limit on Randol Mill Avenue, all the action on White Chapel Boulevard comes in a close second to one of the most talked about roadways in Southlake.
White Chapel has had its fair share of activity in the past months, some planned and some not. At the most recent City Council meeting, March 19, 2019, addressing the past, present and future Public Works Director Rob Cohen provided an update on everything White Chapel.
The Kirkwood Branch Culvert Crossing on N. White Chapel, near Bob Jones Park, has been repaired and the road is open again! Fall of 2018 was not kind to the culvert crossing, in September the roadway was damaged by flood waters causing the closure of the road. The City responded quickly and by October, an emergency repair was declared. By the end of November, the contractor was in place and repair work was underway. Despite a rainy couple of months, crews completed the repair work in early March. By March 11, a newly repaired safer crossing was open, once again opening a main thoroughfare in the north end of Southlake.
The North White Chapel widening project is moving along, pretty much right on schedule. Remember this is a two-phase project. The first phase is the widening from Highland to SH 114 and includes a new dual-lane roundabout at the intersection of Highland and N. White Chapel. Phase two will widen N. White Chapel from Emerald to Highland.
Since starting on phase 1 in spring of 2018, contractors have moved a lot of dirt and made great progress! Utilities have been relocated, drains have been built, and new roadway has been paved. If you’ve been following along with progress on Facebook with Southlake Mobility, you’ve seen that the roundabout is starting to take shape. With about 60 percent of the work completed there are a few major milestones to be on the lookout for in the coming months. In order to complete the roundabout, there will be two main closures on Highland this summer. The first one will be the east side of the intersection, and once that work is completed crews will close the west side of the intersection. Although getting through Highland will be more difficult during the closures, mobility will be maintained along N. White Chapel.
Director Cohen also mentioned a recent traffic control plan revision along the westbound SH114 frontage road at the request of TxDOT. Previously, traffic on the westbound frontage road turning under the overpass to access N. White Chapel had to merge underneath the overpass. Now the inside left turn lane has been closed down so all of the left turning traffic under the overpass will be consolidated to one lane before the traffic light.
Bids for phase two of the project are currently under review. While there is no roundabout work with this phase of the project, it will bring a much needed wider roadway in front of the high school. The plan is to award a bid in the next few months and getting utility relocation started.
Director Cohen also noted an emphasis on sharing information about the project. “As with phase one of the project, our goal is to communicate as much as we can,” said Cohen. “We know that while construction is ongoing, it will make traveling on N. White Chapel a little more cumbersome. I’d really like to encourage people to follow the Southlake Mobility Facebook page. We plan to be aggressive with the information we share. And if people enjoy seeing the progress pictures and videos we post, all the better.”
Construction is shifting south on White Chapel in 2020. Initiated by TxDOT, the bridge that connects Pleasant Run in Colleyville to White Chapel in Southlake, will be completely rebuilt. The Cities of Southlake and Colleyville will partner with TxDOT to help complete the project.
Repair work on the bridge was completed in 2015. TxDOT, Southlake and Colleyville also worked together at the time. The work included removing sand and rocks from around the bridge supports and addressed channel erosion around the base of the bridge.
As of now, the replacement project is scheduled to start in early 2020 and be completed by late 2020 or early 2021. While planning is still in progress, early plans include a new sidewalk on the new bridge. As the project gets closed to starting, we will share more information about the traffic changes that will come from the project.