Skunk tests positive for rabies in far north Fort Worth

The Texas Department of State Health Services informed the City of Fort Worth on Tuesday afternoon that a wild skunk, located in a residential area near Westheimer Road and Gessner Drive in far north Fort Worth, tested positive for the rabies virus.

The skunk was killed by a family-owned dog in the backyard. Fortunately, the dog is current on rabies vaccinations and was provided additional medical care.

Fort Worth Animal Care and Control Officers are canvassing the residential areas and leaving informational fliers.

Rabies is a dangerous virus that is transmitted through the saliva of mammals. Anyone can become infected if they handle bats or get bitten by an animal that has the disease. Coming in contact with the smell of the exposed skunk will not cause humans to contract rabies.

Animal control officers urge residents to avoid approaching or handling any free-roaming, unfamiliar animals behaving in an unusual manner.

With the weather becoming warmer, hibernating wildlife start to roam and look for food. The city reminds residents to keep vaccinations up-to-date for all dogs, cats and other domestic pets. This requirement is important not only to keep pets from getting rabies, but also to provide a barrier of protection to humans if an animal is bitten by a rabid animal. Residents should consider picking up any dog or cat food and birdseed left outside before nightfall.

To report incidents, contact the city’s customer care call center at 817-392-1234.

Low-cost pet vaccinations

Rabies and other pet vaccinations are available 6-8 p.m. every Tuesday at the Chuck Silcox Animal Shelter, 4900 Martin St. Vaccination fees range from $5 for rabies to $25 for all vaccinations.

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Bat and skunk test positive for rabies in north Fort Worth

The Texas Department of State Health Services informed the City of Fort Worth on April 16 that a wild skunk and a bat, both located in residential areas in far north Fort Worth in ZIP codes 76244 and 76131, tested positive for the rabies virus.

In separate incidents, the bat and skunk were engaged with family-owned dogs in backyards. Fortunately, both dogs are current on their rabies vaccinations.

City Animal Care and Control Officers are canvassing the residential areas and leaving informational fliers.

Rabies is a dangerous virus that is transmitted through the saliva of mammals. Anyone can become infected if they handle bats or get bitten by an animal that has the disease. Coming in contact with the smell of the exposed skunk will not cause humans to contract rabies.

Animal control officers urge residents not to approach or attempt to handle any free-roaming, unfamiliar animals behaving in an unusual manner. With the weather becoming warmer, hibernating wildlife are starting to roam and look for food.

The city reminds residents about the importance of keeping vaccinations up-to-date for all dogs, cats and other domestic pets. This requirement is important not only to keep pets from getting rabies, but also to provide a barrier of protection to you if your animal is bitten by a rabid animal. Additionally, residents should consider picking up any dog or cat food and birdseed left outside before nightfall.

To report incidents, contact the city’s customer care call center at 817-392-1234.

Low-cost pet vaccinations

Rabies and other pet vaccinations are available 6-8 p.m. every Tuesday at the Chuck Silcox Animal Shelter, 4900 Martin St. Vaccination fees range from $5 for rabies to $25 for all vaccinations.

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Learn about proposed widening of I-35W north of Fort Worth

The Texas Department of Transportation will conduct a public meeting to solicit public comments on the proposed reconstruction and widening of I-35W from the Tarrant-Denton County line to I-35E.

The meeting will be from 6-8 p.m. April 19 at Argyle Middle School, 6601 Canyon Falls Drive in Argyle.

The proposed project would consist of reconstructing and widening I-35W from four lanes to six lanes. Continuous four-lane frontage roads with auxiliary lanes would be added from Dale Earnhardt Wat to the interchange with I-35E. Existing ramps would be reconfigured and/or relocated. Construction is expected to take place in phases, with frontage road improvements occurring first.

To learn more, contact Nelson Underwood.

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North Patrol Division headquarters sets ribbon cutting April 3

Officials will cut the ribbon on the Fort Worth Police Department’s North Patrol Division headquarters at 10 a.m. April 3. The facility was built to help improve customer service by speeding up response times and increasing police presence in the area.

The new building, 8755 N. Riverside Drive, will enhance community partnerships by serving as a command center for new and active Citizens on Patrol members, providing community meeting space and improving accessibility to police staff.

The 23,000-square-foot facility near Alliance Town Center will be home to 110 officers and 13 administrative staff who will serve the growing population in far north Fort Worth. A community meeting room was also included in the project.

Parking for the opening event is available at Light of the World Church across the street.

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North Hi Mount getting streetlights

Some streets in Fort Worth will be brighter in the upcoming weeks. Residents of the North Hi Mount neighborhood are invited to a community meeting to learn about streetlight installation.

The meeting is planned for 6 p.m. April 2 at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, Room 291, 3500 Camp Bowie Blvd.

Streetlights will be installed on the following streets:

  • Virginia Place from Camp Bowie Boulevard to the alley north of Clark Avenue.
  • Belle Place from Camp Bowie Boulevard to Clark Avenue.
  • Madeline Place from Camp Bowie Boulevard to Clark Avenue.
  • Dorothy Lane from Camp Bowie Boulevard to Clark Avenue.
  • Clark Avenue from Victoria Place to Haskell Street.

Make plans to attend the meeting to find out about the construction schedule and impacts to residents.

To learn more, contact project manager Jennifer Roberts at 817-392-8447.

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Building the foundation of North Main Street’s new bridge

The recent soggy weather hasn’t dampened progress much on the North Main Street bridge.

Construction on the Trinity River Vision Authority’s third signature V-pier bridge began in late December with traffic detours on North Main Street near Coyote Drive-In and LaGrave Field. The bridge is being built on dry land and will serve as a connector across the new bypass channel. Design of the north end of the bypass channel was approved in December.

Steps in V-pier structure construction

Step 1: Pier shaft construction. This initial step requires drilling approximately 30 feet into the ground to create a strong foundation to support the future bridge structure. Once the pier shafts are drilled, a circular steel cage is inserted in the drilled hole and concrete is poured to reinforce the bridge’s foundation. This bridge will have four pier shafts, each 10 feet in diameter, below ground. Work began on the pier shafts in December and they were completed in early February.

Step 2: Pier column construction. The pier columns are constructed by encasing circular steel reinforcement in high-strength concrete, which connects to the underground pier shafts. The upper part of the pier columns has a round dome that will be visible above the waterline. The four pier columns are underway now; the first two were poured the second week of March.

Step 3: V-pier construction. Once the pier shafts and columns are complete, the bridge’s four signature V-piers will support the bridge’s superstructure, or deck, for vehicle and pedestrian traffic. The North Main bridge will have four V-piers that will consist of approximately 210 cubic yards of steel-reinforced high-strength concrete.

Why a V shape?

The signature bridges get their name from the V-shape of the support pier that will be visible above the water. But there’s more beneath the surface.

The V-shape is an alliance of art and architecture. World-renowned architect Miguel Rosales designed the V-pier structure with Freese and Nichols Inc. of Fort Worth. Aesthetically, the design mirrors structures in Fort Worth’s Cultural District, like the Modern Art Museum. Practically, the V-pier design provides better bridge support with fewer piers. Fewer piers mean less concrete and fewer obstructed views from the river.

Ultimately, the V-piers will support the superstructure of the bridge, which will connect traffic from one side of the bypass channel to the other.

The Panther Island project, which includes three signature bridges positioned along the to-be-realigned Trinity River, are a collaborative effort between the Trinity River Vision Authority, TxDOT, City of Fort Worth, North Central Texas Council of Governments, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Tarrant County.

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Flushing occurring in north Fort Worth as a preventative measure

Daily monitoring has shown some lower than normal disinfectant levels in parts of the north Fort Worth water distribution system, particularly in the areas of Morris Dido Newark Road and Bonds Ranch Road. While the disinfectant levels are lower than normal, the water quality continues to meet all state and federal standards.

The situation is attributed to very low water use coupled with a chemical feed issue at the Eagle Mountain Water Plant. Low water use increases water age, which leads to lower disinfectant levels.

The Water Department is implementing the recognized best management practice for these situations — flushing the older water out of the system by opening fire hydrants. Flushing moves the new water with higher disinfectant levels to the affected parts of the distribution system. The Water Department’s primary responsibility is to protect public health, and flushing is done to ensure the water quality remains good.

The large white tablets used at the flushing sites are to safely remove chlorine from the water in order to protect aquatic life in nearby streams.

To learn more, contact the Water Department or call the Customer Service Center at 817-392-4477.

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AllianceTexas continues to be an economic boon for far north Fort Worth

AllianceTexas is estimated to have a $4.73 billion economic impact for 2017, Mike Berry, president of Hillwood Properties, told the City Council.

The 2017 figure brings the total for the 28-year-old development in far north Fort Worth to $69.08 billion. Insight Research Corp. of Dallas compiled a report that totaled investments and the value of jobs at the development.

Berry said more than 1,300 new jobs were added at Alliance in 2017. Over the life of the project, Alliance has created nearly 48,800 jobs.

“We expect growth to become even more robust with the progression of projects such as the new UPS parcel sorting facility, the T5@Alliance Data Center, the Charles Schwab campus and the new Mercedes-Benz Financial Services building, combined with the completion of the airport runway project, increased programming at Alliance Town Center and movement on our mixed-use project at Circle T Ranch,” Berry said.

Hillwood Properties, developer of Alliance, pays property taxes to Fort Worth, Roanoke, Haslet, Westlake, Tarrant County and Denton County, in addition to the Keller and Northwest school districts. Alliance paid $29.1 million in taxes to Fort Worth in 2016. To date, Hillwood has paid $1.9 billion in property taxes. This includes the $173.6 million in property taxes paid to local public entities in 2017.

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Saturday closures set for I-35W in north Fort Worth

All southbound lanes of I-35W will be closed just south of North I-820 from 4 a.m.-9 p.m. Feb 3. Traffic will be redirected to the frontage road.

In addition, all lanes of eastbound and westbound Meacham Boulevard at I-35 will be closed. Eastbound traffic will be redirected to Northeast 28th Street and westbound traffic will be redirected to Western Center Boulevard.

Drivers should seek alternate routes and expect delays in the area. Visit the North Tarrant Express website for current and upcoming lane closures on I-35W.

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View artwork designs for North Beach installations

Join Councilmembers Dennis Shingleton (District 7) and Cary Moon (District 4) as Christopher Fennell presents his refined artwork design for the North Beach Corridor project.

This meeting, at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 5 at Heritage Church of Christ, 4201 Heritage Trace Parkway, is your opportunity to learn more about the project and give feedback to the artist that will be used in creating his final designs.

Fennell’s proposed artwork features 10-12 kinetic “weather vanes” in the form of native animals. These animals will be made from locally-sourced recycled materials such as an armadillo made from truck bumpers and shovel heads or a coyote made from chain link fencing.

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