Thanks to heavy spring rain, the timeline for the N. White Chapel widening project may have shifted, but progress has remained steady. The next major milestone for this project is to shift the Highland road closure to the west side of the intersection.
Crews are anticipating closing W. Highland at N. White Chapel, weather permitting, Monday, June 24 to complete the west side of the roundabout. This traffic switch will happen after the morning rush. As the completion of the east side of the roundabout is wrapped up this week, crews will be shifting attention to the other half. The closure includes the west side of the Highland and N. White Chapel intersection and about 500 feet of Highland leading up to the intersection.
In addition to the change in closures, this move will also result in the removal of the traffic signal at Highland and N. White Chapel. The signal will no longer be needed and will be disabled prior to this next phase. This means north and southbound traffic will flow freely through the intersection. There will be no east and westbound traffic through the intersection until the roundabout opens. Vehicles will not be able to turn west onto Highland from N. White Chapel.
Before the west side of the intersection is closed, the east side of the intersection will be partially reopened. Remember, the traffic flow from E. Highland will be different in preparation for the new roundabout traffic flow; E. Highland traffic will only be able to turn northbound onto N. White Chapel. That traffic will have a stop sign before entering N. White Chapel. North and southbound cross traffic will not stop, so drivers will need to heed extra caution before getting on N. White Chapel.
The work is expected to be completed before the start of the school year.
“This milestone puts us one step closer to a completed roundabout,” notes City Engineer and Deputy Director of Public Works Kyle Hogue. “I’d like to reiterate the importance of drivers proceeding with caution and traveling at or below the posted speed limit as they drive through the intersection. With the signal no longer being needed and disabled, that’s one more reason for drivers to pay extra close attention in this area. Also, remember as crews work toward the next phase to bring the two sections together the temporary transitions or ‘hump’ will remain in the intersection.”
Mother Nature may have tried to interfere with progress on the N. White Chapel widening project recently, but crews are still on track for completing the new dual-lane round about this summer, weather permitting of course.
The next major milestone for the widening project from Highland to SH 114 is the closure of W. Highland at N. White Chapel to complete the west side of the roundabout. This is scheduled to happen in early June after the end of the school year.
Weather permitting; the closure will include approximately 500 feet of W. Highland leading up to N. White Chapel. Vehicles will not be able to turn west onto Highland from N. White Chapel or cross the intersection as they drive west. North and southbound traffic will be maintained on N. White Chapel during the closure. The work is expected to be completed before the start of the school year.
Remember, when the east side of the intersection opens, traffic from E. Highland will only be reopened to northbound traffic on N. White Chapel only.
“This is going to remain a very active construction site throughout the summer,” notes City Engineer and Deputy Director of Public Works Kyle Hogue. “If you can’t avoid the area, I’d like to remind everyone to take extra caution when driving through. Take your time and pay attention to the posted speed limit. Our goal is to get everyone where they need to be as safe as we can.”
Crews continue to make significant progress on the paving of new north and southbound lanes. The contractor hopes to have the new traffic lanes completed in a few weeks in preparation for future traffic switches.
The end of the school year is right around the corner and while that means summer break for many, it’s rock and roll time for the N. White Chapel widening project. N. White Chapel from Highland to SH 114 will have a totally new look by the time school is back in session.
Despite some intervention from Mother Nature with some heavy rain falls, the project is pretty much on schedule. Most recently in mid-April, crews closed a section of east Highland to begin construction of the east side of the dual-lane roundabout.
If you’ve driven through the N. White Chapel and Highland intersection, you can see the roundabout starting to take shape. The old pavement has been removed and crews are working on leveling the surface in preparation to pave. Work on this side of the roundabout is expected to be completed by early June so work on the other side of the roundabout can begin.
New pavement is in on the southbound lanes and is closer to joining with the existing pavement close to the intersection of N. White Chapel and SH 114. Meanwhile what’s left to pave on the northbound traffic side is formed up to be ready to pave. Weather permitting the contractor hopes to have paving of the new traffic lanes completed in a few weeks.
“It’s great to be able to actually see the roundabout taking shape,” notes City Engineer and Deputy Director of Public Works Kyle Hogue. “So far 70 percent of the work has been completed. Up next is the completion of the roundabout, installation of public art in the roundabout, landscaping and new sidewalks.”
As with any construction project, drivers are encouraged to be extra aware of their surroundings and if possible avoid the area.
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.