Want the Low Down on White Chapel? Here it is.

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 past.

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 present.

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.”

The future.

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.

In the meantime, if you haven’t already, follow Southlake Mobility on Facebook for all the up-to-date mobility news in Southlake. You can also visit the website at www.ConnectSouthlake.com.

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Council Approves Public Art Installation for Roundabout located at N. White Chapel Boulevard and Highland Street

City Council approved the art concept and contract with artist Boris Kramer for his art sculpture, “Be the Bridge” to be installed at the N. White Chapel Boulevard and Highland Street roundabout.

It will be replacing the artwork, “Prairie Winds”, a sculpture by Seth Vandable, which will be relocated to Bicentennial Park.

The Arts Council recommended for the “Prairie Winds” installation to be relocated due to the structures “pioneer” vibe. The artwork will be moved near the log cabin in Bicentennial Park.  Members of the Arts Council recognized that Bicentennial Park is more suitable for the “Prairie Winds” sculpture because it will enhance the area’s connection with Southlake’s early settlers and wagon trails that were part of the westward migration.

Kramer’s piece, “Be the Bridge” was chosen based on feedback that was provided from a Joint City Council and Arts Council meeting in December.  The Arts Council goal was to seek a proposal for an art piece that would highlight unity and culture, and this piece did just that.

The concept of this piece is about bringing acceptance and tolerance through the experiences of play and dance. The central figure will have five predominant colors: black, brown, yellow, red and white. The artists’ theory is that the figure can be interpreted from a variety of viewpoints. The sculpture can represent everyone from different backgrounds with one of the figures in the middle of the group making the connection, the middle figure could also be interpreted as the person who does not fit into simply one ethnic background or social group, or the figure could be a person who is blended into a number of different groups but can still be a catalyst for equality.

The City utilizes roundabouts, key gateways, intersections, open spaces and key destinations as opportunities for special design features such as public art.

The roundabout program is a part of the Public Art Master Plan, a plan that recommends commissioning and installing public art pieces in the roundabouts throughout the City for beautification and to build a network of art markers that help with wayfinding and placemaking throughout the city.

To date, art is installed in all Southlake Roundabouts. The replacement and installation of both sculptures are expected to be completed by  Fall of 2019.

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The White Chapel Widening Project – What You Need To Know

Construction on N. White Chapel Boulevard between SH 114 and Emerald Boulevard has been a major topic lately. Road closures, lane switches and major construction have all had some type of effect on our commute to school, work or just day to day activities. In order to understand what is going on, let’s take a dive into the “Why”.

The Tarrant County region is rapidly growing and as more motorists utilize our roadways, an increase in traffic is expected.

In order to plan for the future growth of the region, the City and associated traffic, the City developed the Mobility Master Plan, which is a component of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. This plan has developed recommendations for roadways, sidewalks and bicycle facilities with the intent of meeting the City’s mobility related goals and objectives.

The widening of N. White Chapel Boulevard and SH 114 and Emerald Boulevard has been a recommended project in the City’s mobility plan for a number of years.

N. White Chapel Boulevard between SH 114 and Emerald Boulevard is a main road that travels through Southlake. Being that N. White Chapel is a highly accessible roadway, it is important that mobility and transportation needs are met. In order to accommodate our residents, pedestrians and the traffic, the City devised a plan to expand N. White Chapel Boulevard.

Regarding the Comprehensive plan, once projects are included as a recommendation, those items can be included in the City’s Capital Improvement Program, often referred to as the CIP. The CIP plan is a five-year plan that includes but not limited to the purchase of construction or replacement of the City’s physical assets, roads and highways being one of them. So how does this all work together? The overall goals and objectives of the Mobility Master Plan and the CIP both help implement the goals and objectives of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. With approved recommendations and funds allocated toward the project, the expansion of N. White Chapel Boulevard has been well underway.

The project involves expanding the two-lane road to a four-lane road divided roadway with a dual-lane roundabout at the intersection at Highland Street.

The project will be completed in two phases, one which is the construction of the roundabout at Highland and the widening of N. White Chapel from SH 114 to Highland and two, the widening from Emerald to Highland. “By increasing the roadway capacity, this will help improve traffic operations and provide safety for residents and visitors,” said Senior Director of Planning and Development Services Ken Baker.

The City will also incorporate aesthetics such as trees, shrubbery, street lighting, trails and other amenities that adhere to Southlake’s street design standards.  The project will also include utility and drainage improvement.

The widening is an estimated $10.825 million capital investment in the City’s transportation system.

To date, crews have installed water lines, new sanitary sewer lines, new storm drains, paved portions of the roundabout and paved portions of north and southbound lanes. Council recently approved an Engineering Services Agreement for Phase II of the project which includes landscaped medians, a replacement screening wall on the East side of N. White Chapel along with sidewalks and installation of a traffic signal at Ascot Drive.  This will surely improve mobility in Southlake.

Major construction began in 2018 and is estimated to be completed by 2021.

For updates, follow Southlake Mobility on Facebook and visit www.ConnectSouthlake.com

 

 

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New Speed Limit on North White Chapel near Kirkwood Branch Crossing

At the Feb. 5, 2019, City Council meeting, Council had the first reading of a new speed limit ordinance to reduce the speed limit on N. White Chapel Boulevard, from Drum Lane down to Wingate Lane, from 40 miles per hour to 30 mph.

The design consultant for the N. White Chapel bridge repair project analyzed the terrain and the layout of the roadway and recommended to reduce speeds to 30 mph based on engineering standards for roadway design.

Appropriate signs will be placed following this new adoption and prior to reopening the road once construction is complete. This change will be in place for the life of the current bridge.

To date, both headwalls are complete and large rocks known as riprap have been placed up and downstream of the crossing to prevent erosion as a result of inclement weather.

The road will not be reopened until construction is complete.

City Council is set for a second reading of the Ordinance No. 1206 for the reduction, at the next City Council meeting on Feb. 19, 2019.

For updates, follow Southlake Mobility on Facebook and visit www.ConnectSouthlake.com

 

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Section of Highland Street and N. White Chapel Boulevard intersection to be closed temporarily

As crews continue to make progress on the N. White Chapel widening project, they will temporarily close the east leg of the Highland St. and N. White Chapel intersection.

Weather permitting, the closure will start after the morning traffic peak on Monday, February 11 and is expected to last until Friday, February 15.

The City’s contractor will be lowering the existing 20-inch water main currently located under N. White Chapel. As illustrated in the map, vehicles will not be able to turn east onto Highland from N. White Chapel or cross the intersection as they drive west. Vehicles can still turn west onto Highland or continue on N. White Chapel.  Motorists are encouraged to seek alternate routes and try to avoid the intersection while work is being completed.

This work will continue to move the project along to a completed roundabout in the spring.

City staff is also working with contractors to monitor and adjust signal timing at the SH 114 and N. White Chapel intersection so that traffic is allowed more time to get through the Highland and N. White Chapel intersection.

“As we continue to make progress on this project it puts us one step closer to overall improved mobility along this corridor,” notes Deputy Director of Public Works and City Engineer Kyle Hogue. “Even though construction projects can be frustrating for drivers, we really appreciate the feedback we’ve received along the way. Letting us know when situations get better or worse helps us address concerns as they arise and do what we can to make improvements. Please keep talking to us. Reaching out through our Mobility Facebook page or the website is a great way to get in touch with us.”

For more information about the project, visit the project page on the City website.  Stay in the loop on project updates by following Southlake Mobility on Facebook.

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OBA: Utility Work on N. White Chapel

Crews from Superior Pipeline Services are currently performing gas line replacement work along various sections of N. White Chapel Boulevard extending from Southlake Boulevard to Highland Street.

This service is all in part of Phase II for N. White Chapel Widening Project, which encompasses expanding the current two-lane road to a four-lane road.  The line replacement work is anticipated to be completed by early Spring of 2019.

For updates, follow Southlake Mobility on Facebook and visit www.ConnectSouthlake.com. To review the site map, please visit Atmos Energy’s website.

Related Stories:

Council Approves Engineering Services Agreement for Phase II for N. White Chapel  Widening Project

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N. White Chapel Culvert Crossing Bridge Headwalls Taking Shape

Favorable weather conditions over the past few weeks have allowed for the repair efforts of the N. White Chapel culvert crossing to make progress.

Although crews had to make some adjustments that slightly delayed the project, the most recent changes make it easier to see the new crossing take shape. Large rocks, known as rip rap, have been placed around the downstream headwall which will help prevent erosion in future rain events.

In addition to the rip rap, crews have poured the massive concrete footer, or foundation, of the upstream headwall. Weather permitting the headwall concrete will be poured in the coming days.

The road has been closed since late September due to structural damage caused by heavy rains and floodwater.

“I know this road closure has been very inconvenient for the residents in the area, but with the latest progress we are getting closer to having the road open in mid-March,” said Public Works Deputy Director and City Engineer Kyle Hogue. “We really appreciate everyone’s patience as we work to make sure this crossing is safe again.”

You can stay up-to-date by visiting www.ConnectSouthlake.com and the Southlake Mobility Facebook page.

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Council Approves Engineering Services Agreement for Phase II for N. White Chapel Widening Project

City Council has approved an Engineering Services Agreement with Freese and Nichols to provide third-party construction management services for the second phase of the widening of N. White Chapel Boulevard which includes expanding the road from Emerald Boulevard to Highland Street.

The widening project is a part of the City’s Mobility Master Plan and will expand the current two-lane road to a four-lane road.

“Improving mobility in Southlake is one of our top priorities,” stated Public Works  Director Rob Cohen, “With that in mind, this project is going to help improve the connectivity between FM 1709 and SH 114.     The expanded roadway is also going to help improve school traffic in front of the high school.”

The plan will also include landscaped medians, a replacement screening wall on the East side of N. White Chapel Boulevard and sidewalks will be added to accommodate pedestrian traffic for the school. The temporary traffic signal at Ascot Drive will also become a permanent installation.

To add, the franchise utility companies are currently relocating both the gas and communication lines in the construction zone.

This project is scheduled to start in the Spring of 2019. For updates, follow Southlake Mobility on Facebook and visit www.ConnectSouthlake.com

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N. White Chapel Bridge Construction Update

Construction crews continue to make progress on the N. White Chapel Culvert crossing bridge.

The road has been closed since late September when heavy rain and floodwater caused structural damage.

While the weather has improved, several environmental factors have caused some delays. City staff along with construction crews devised a plan to help continue progress.

“We made adjustments to the piling in an attempt to drain the creek quicker, as pumping typically occurs rather slowly,” explained Deputy Director of Public Works and City Engineer, Kyle Hogue. “We have also resumed excavation of the west upstream headwall.”

While construction has been underway since just after Thanksgiving, the city is working to potentially prevent future damages during inclement weather.

A few weeks ago Council Member John Huffman visited the site. “This short term solution is making everything safe, making everything drivable, in really the shortest timeframe possible” stated Council Member John Huffman in his Facebook Live video. Check out the video to get an up-close look at construction.

You can stay up-to-date by visiting www.ConnectSouthlake.com and the Southlake Mobility Facebook page.

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2019 Brings More Progress on N. White Chapel Widening Project

With the New Year comes the excitement for new things to come. In Southlake, 2019 will bring a new and improved N. White Chapel Boulevard.

Crews have been steadily making progress on the widening of N. White Chapel between Highland Street and SH 114. Part of a larger N. White Chapel improvement project, when completed there will be a new dual-lane roundabout at Highland and N. White Chapel. Gone will be the two-lane road motorists are used to, and in its place will be landscaped divided four-lane road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second part of this Capital Improvement Project will be the widening of N. White Chapel from Emerald Boulevard to Highland. When completed, N. White Chapel will be a four-lane road from FM 1709 to SH 114.

Since spring 2018 crews have:

  • Installed a new 12-inch water line
  • Installed new sanitary sewer lines
  • Installed new storm drains
  • Paved portions of the roundabout, and
  • Paved portions of north and southbound lanes

“We are pleased with the progress of this project. It will be a much-needed improvement,” noted Public Works Director Rob Cohen. “It was a wet fall, but despite the rain, we still made significant progress and are still on track for a fall 2019 completion of this phase of the overall improvement. The additional lanes and new roundabout will make a positive difference for motorists on this section of N. White Chapel.”

As the project continues to move forward, motorists can expect lane switches and lane closures, however, two-way traffic will be maintained throughout the project. As always, motorists are reminded to use caution and be aware of their surroundings as they drive through the construction zone.

For updates follow Southlake Mobility on Facebook and visit www.ConnectSouthlake.com.

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