FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The gridlock over expanding one final section of congested highway in Fort Worth, may finally be clearing.
Mayor Betsy Price revealed during her state of the city address Tuesday that funding for the final segment of construction on I-35W should be approved by the end of the month.
It was just last summer, construction crews finished a complete $1.6 billion rebuild on more than 10 miles of the interstate. The public private partnership added managed toll lanes between downtown and US-287.
Hesitation in Austin though, on state money going toward projects with toll lanes, delayed the final segment of the project, which will extend north to Eagle Parkway.
Price said Tuesday though she has been assured there will be a vote, and the governor will sign off on it, by the end of the month.
“As you know that road is bottlenecked there,” she said. “And people are going ‘we put all this money into the rest of 35 and we can’t get past that.’ So this is that last win, and I’m real pleased about it.”
Price spent much of her address Tuesday focused on the need for the city to address families and some of its youngest residents moving forward. With an initiative to raise reading levels underway for school age kids, she said the city will lead the way on improving child care next.
Fort Worth will look at rolling out new parental leave policies, and likely a new cost-sharing child care program for city employees.
“My challenge to all of you in business is go talk to your workforce,” she said. “Find out how early childcare is impacting them. Who are you losing who should be at work?”
It’s a strategy aimed at improving a future workforce, and attracting companies focused on technology and innovation.
People like to raise their families here. We got to continue to keep that quality of life that includes childcare education economic development.”
Just weeks removed from Texrail opening its new line from downtown to the airport, price also stated her support for extending the line, this time to the city’s southern reach.