Why is TEXRail work closing roadways in NRH?
TEXRail is making significant improvements along the rail line from downtown Fort Worth to DFW airport to accommodate the new commuter rail service. This includes removal of the old railroad track, reconstruction of the railroad bed and installation of new concrete rail ties and new track. These improvements will reduce the sound and vibration coming from the track, making the new commuter rail traffic quieter than the traditional freight traffic we are used to. The track work is being completed on all sections of the TEXRail rail line, including those portions that cross our roadways. In some places a second side track is also being installed. Significant safety improvements are also being made to all railroad crossings, including installation of medians and new warning equipment and signs. These improvements are necessary for our community to be designated as a Quiet Zone. Please note, this activity is not unique to North Richland Hills. These improvements are being made in all of the communities TEXRail passes through. A schedule of current and upcoming work can be found at http://www.texrail.com/status/construction-updates/.
Why can’t they complete this work with lane closures?
While TEXRail is able to do paving and other improvements with lane closures, replacement of the train track itself necessitates a full closure of the roadway for 3 to 4 days. The full road closure allows contractors to remove the existing track, prepare the track bed and install a continuous span of track across the roadway to ensure the safety and integrity of the track. If they were to install track on one part of the roadway and then another part with welds in the middle, there is a potential for the weld to fail over time due to constant vibrations from vehicles using the crossing.
Why isn’t this work being done over the weekends?
City officials have requested that work be done during off peak travel times, however TEXRail indicates that the work must be scheduled so that it does not conflict with Fort Worth & Western’s freight train schedule. Fort Worth & Western provides TEXRail with periods of 3 to 5 days where there is no freight traffic. All of the track work must take place during these specified periods. At major roadways, contractors will work round the clock to get the work completed as quickly as they can and minimize impacts and disruptions to the traveling public and community. While the city does not have authority to mandate a schedule for TEXRail work in the railroad rights of way, we are working closely with TEXRail and its contractors to see that they minimize disruptions to the traveling public as much as possible. TEXRail contractors must receive a permit from TxDOT for the closure of Precinct Line Road and Davis Boulevard.
Why does the new crossing seem rough when I drive over it?
The improvements at rail crossings are being completed in phases. After replacing the track, TEXRail will come back at a later date to repave the roadway approaches on each side of the track. On our major roadways, this additional paving work will be done with lane closures and will not require full closure of the street. Once finished all of the crossings should be as smooth as the improved Mid Cities crossing.
To see answers to other additional frequently asked questions regarding TEXRail, click here.