Starting June 20, residents and businesses located near Fort Worth’s North Main Street bridge should prepare for temporary water shutoffs and lane closures related to the Central City / Panther Island flood control project

City crews are relocating water and sewer lines to make way for a 1.5-mile bypass channel that will reroute part of the Trinity River. To meet deadlines set by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is constructing the channel, the city of Fort Worth must relocate 14 water and stormwater utilities by the end of 2024. 

The first of these major relocation projects will primarily impact NE 11th Street, North Main Street and North Houston Street in the Northside community. Auto shops, homes and the eastern end of Oakwood Cemetery populate most of the affected area, which sits between the Main Street bridge and Northside Drive. 

When service is transferred from the existing line to a temporary water line, water will be turned off for around 15 to 30 minutes, city staff said during a June 5 public meeting. 

Crews will begin relocating water utility lines on NE 11th St, North Main Street and North Houston Street on June 20, 2023. (Courtesy image | City of Fort Worth)

Switchovers will typically take place between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays, and possibly between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays. A contractor will knock on the door to let customers know their water is about to be turned off. Sewer service won’t be disrupted by the project. 

During winter months, city staff say that customers should keep their faucets dripping to ensure that water continually flows through the temporary line without freezing. 

The faucet dripping shouldn’t break the bank. While customers are on the temporary water line, their monthly water bill will be calculated based on an average of previous water bills. 

“Generally speaking, you won’t be charged extra for extra water use during the time you’re on a temporary water line,” city project manager Liam Conlon told a handful of attendees during the June 5 meeting. 

The city is working with its contractor, Circle C Construction, to adjust its plan for managing traffic and lane closures, Conlon said. 

“If we have to close down the street, we close down in a way that we have at least traffic going in one direction,” Conlon added. “Our major concern is keeping driveways open for businesses and so people can go in and out. That’s an important aspect of what we do.” 

Crews will start their work at the southern end of North Houston Street north of the Trinity River’s West Fork. Construction is expected to last through at least October 2024, though Conlon and other city staff warned that any number of factors – especially weather – could affect that timeline.

How to follow project progress

The city of Fort Worth has set up a webpage where you can watch a YouTube presentation sign up for email updates and find contact information for project leaders. 

If you see a water main break or sewer backup, call the water department’s emergency line at 817-392-4477 and select Option 1.

The project’s price tag will come out to at least $22.8 million, a steep increase from the city’s original estimate of $10 million. City staff needed to find upfront funds to make up for the increase and lack of available bond funding. In turn, they pulled $14.1 million from other flood projects in April, according to previous Fort Worth Report coverage

Those flood mitigation projects will not be delayed as a result of the funding move, Fort Worth officials said after the plan was made public. The Tarrant Regional Water District is expected to reimburse the city for utility relocation costs on an annual basis. Any city invoices paid before Aug. 1 will be reimbursed in September, a water district spokesperson said in April.  

Parts of NE 8th Street and Commerce Street are next in line for utility relocation work after Fort Worth City Council members approved a $9.2 million contract with Circle C Construction on June 13. The city estimates it will need between $53.8 million and $60.5 million to complete all necessary utility relocations for Central City / Panther Island.

Haley Samsel is the environmental reporter for the Fort Worth Report. You can reach them at

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Haley Samsel is the environmental reporter for the Fort Worth Report. You can reach them at Her coverage is made possible by a grant from the Marilyn Brachman Hoffman...