As with any construction project, there are always roadblocks and unforeseen delays that change timelines and schedules. Work on Zena Rucker Road has remained on schedule despite unpredictable weather conditions and changes in the work due to social distancing guidelines.
The project was approved by City Council in August 2019 with the purpose to improve mobility along Bryon Nelson Parkway and South Carroll Avenue.
Currently, contractors are drilling holes to insert light posts and work on irrigation is nearing completion.
The roundabout connector located at the intersection of Zena Rucker Road and Tower Boulevard is in the final stages. The City’s Community Services Department is working with contractors to begin installing the roundabout landscaping and artwork display, “Mockingbird Tree” by Michael Warrick.
The estimated project cost is $2.1 million and is estimated to be complete summer 2020, weather permitting.
Construction on Zena Rucker started back in October 2019 with the sole purpose to improve mobility between Byron Nelson Parkway and Carroll Avenue by extending the roadway from Matthews Court to Tower Boulevard. New sidewalks and landscaping features will also be added.
So far, contractors are wrapping up the installation of utilities and have cleared the road for paving the extension just west of Tower Boulevard and Zena Rucker Road. The base for the roundabout is also being constructed.
Once completed, pedestrians and commuters will have easy access to Park Village and the Shops of Southlake. The public artwork display, “Mockingbird Tree” will also be installed at the roundabout.
The project is estimated to be completed by Summer 2020, weather permitting. The estimated cost for this project is $2.1 million. For more mobility updates, follow Southlake Mobility on Facebook and visit www.ConnectSouthlake.com.
The Zena Rucker Connector, which includes Southlake’s newest roundabout, extends between Matthews Court and Tower Boulevard and has been built to improve mobility between Byron Nelson Parkway and Carroll Avenue.
Named after longtime Southlake resident Zena Rucker, the roadway will include a stainless-steel sculpture, Mockingbird Tree, centered in the roundabout.
But who is Zena Rucker?
Zena, and her late husband, Bill, bought their Southlake property in 1960. Rucker’s home sits on 75 acres of land, a reminder of Southlake’s rural roots, and extends from Southlake Boulevard on the north to Old Union Elementary School on the south, and from Carroll Avenue on the east to Timarron on the west.
“I love where I live. I love my house. I’m either weeding in the yard or reading. I like to watch the airplanes fly above [in and out of DFW Airport],” stated Rucker.
Aviation has been a significant part of Rucker’s life. Her late husband was a pilot, and her two sons are pilots. Rucker worked as a flight attendant for a time before becoming a teacher and then served as the first woman to run a Z-Yamaha motorcycle dealership. Rucker also acquired her pilot’s license and operated a flight school in North Texas.
“There’s an airstrip on my property that has welcomed many planes over the years,” said Rucker, who was a member of the Ninety-Nines, an international organization for female pilots.
A known activist, Rucker has also served on the board of the National Organization for Women (NOW).
Holding fast to memories of the past and simpler times in Southlake, Rucker wants to keep her land intact, but she has parted with a few acres along Southlake Boulevard to build a commercial office building with her granddaughter.
As for Zena Rucker Connector, the road and roundabout are scheduled for completion in April of this year. For project updates, follow Southlake Mobility on Facebook, and visit www.ConnectSouthlake.com.
Every year the City’s budget includes a five-year capital improvement program that encompasses construction projects that meet the demands of residential and commercial infrastructure.
Zena Rucker Road made the list a few years ago as part of the 2030 and 2035 Master Plans to be constructed in conjunction with future development projects.
It all starts with strategic planning; where resources, concerns, community priorities and citizen’s needs are combined to produce both a plan for the future and a measure for results. Now that Zena Rucker Road is on the list, plans to improve mobility in the area are under way. A traffic management study was conducted, which takes into consideration on how future developments, the flow of traffic and pedestrians will impact the area.
Once the study has been completed, an outside consultant recommends improvements to the intersection and a design concept. Plans include but are not limited to, mobility, safety, analyzing and studying traffic flow and implementing traffic control strategies.
The Zena Rucker Road project includes the design of a roundabout and public art display located in the center at the intersection of Zena Rucker Road and Tower Boulevard along with landscaping design, utility work and the construction of sewer, water and storm drainage extensions. New sidewalks and lighting will also be constructed.
The roundabout will accommodate traffic between the Park Village and The Shops of Southlake retail venues as well as improve mobility along Byron Nelson Parkway and South Carroll Avenue.
Construction for the project began in October 2019 and is expected to end by April 2020, weather permitting.
After both phases of construction are complete, Zena Rucker Road will link Matthews Court and Tower Boulevard with the public artwork display, “Mockingbird Tree” will be installed at the roundabout.
The estimated cost for this project is $2.1 million.
Plans to improve mobility on Zena Rucker are moving forward. Contractors have been finishing up the installation of utilities and will be paving the extension just west of Tower Boulevard and Zena Rucker Road.
The scope of the project includes the landscaping for the public artwork display, the Mockingbird Tree, for the roundabout located at Zena Rucker Road and Tower Boulevard and the construction for the extension of Zena Rucker Road between Byron Nelson Parkway and Carroll Avenue, along with the installation of water, sewer and storm drainage extensions.
Once the project is fully completed, motorists will be able to travel on Zena Rucker Road from Park Village to the Shops of Southlake. New sidewalks will also be available for pedestrians.
The intersection located at Tower Boulevard and Zena Rucker is expected to close for roundabout construction in early January 2020.
This project is estimated to be completed by summer 2020, weather permitting.