Dirt could be moving along the East Lancaster corridor as early as 2027. as state and federal funding continues to flow into the project.
Efforts to revitalize East Lancaster Avenue, also known as SH 180, and the surrounding area recently benefited from an injection of $45 million. In late June, Fort Worth received $20 million for the redevelopment of the East Lancaster corridor from the federal government’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity program, also known as the RAISE grant.
East Lancaster also saw a $25 million increase in state dollars approved Aug. 18 by the Texas Transportation Commission. This additional money will supplement the already allocated $50 million, bringing the total state investment in the project to $75 million.
“It’s certainly going to help move the project forward in a major way,” said Jeff Neal, senior program manager at the North Central Texas Council of Governments. “We know the city of Fort Worth is working tirelessly right now with the community to come up with a preferred alternative.”
In total, $111.43 million of the project’s total $182 million price tag has been allocated. The remaining funds will be obtained from future Texas Department of Transportation plans, Neal said.
The federal money will fund the design, right-of-way, environmental evaluation and reconstruction that will turn about 6.5 miles of East Lancaster Avenue between Pine Street and Interstate 820 into a corridor that can fit many forms of transportation. The RAISE grant application was led by the council of governments and the funds must be dedicated by September 2026.
The additional $25 million from the state will help rehabilitate the state highway from Tierney Road to Interstate 820. That money will be available between 2028 and 2033.
“It’s almost like layers on the cake. We’re nearly to the top now,” Neal said. “The RAISE grant (and Unified Transportation Plan are) certainly an important layer of that big cake.”
Final design plans for the redesign and redevelopment of East Lancaster will be presented in the city of Fort Worth’s Eastside Transportation Plan, a comprehensive roadmap that will shape land use, safety and transportation across the area. That plan is expected to be finalized this fall.
“The city, in essence, gets double the bang for its buck,” said Karla Windsor, senior program manager for the Council of Governments.
Michael Shedd, president of the East Fort Worth Business Association, said the recent additional investment in the corridor is a step in the right direction toward progress.
“We know it’s not going to be an instant overnight change along that corridor,” Shedd said. “Everyone is letting out a little bit of a sigh of relief that, ‘Oh my gosh, this is happening,’ without getting their hopes up too high.”
Shedd also noted residents have supported change in the area for a long time. The majority of property owners signed a petition back in 2018 to form a public improvement district. In such a district, property owners pay an additional tax that goes toward improving public safety in the area and encouraging redevelopment.
“The property owners over there have already been contributing a great deal of money in an effort to revitalize that area,” Shedd said. “They have made it very clear that they want to do their part to clean up and revitalize that corridor.”
Editor’s note: This story was updated Aug. 21 to clarify that the majority of property owners in the area supported the creation of a public improvement district. The petition was signed in 2019.
Sandra Sadek is a Report for America corps member, covering growth for the Fort Worth Report. You can contact her at email@example.com or on Twitter at @ssadek19.
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