Through a cooperative effort among Dallas County, and the cities of Irving and Grand Prairie, a road once prone to flooding and closures during heavy rains has been reconstructed to offer motorists and area residents an increased quality of life. The reconstructed roadway runs from Belt Line Road to Story Road in Grand Prairie, and from Story Road to MacArthur Boulevard in Irving. The goal of improving the roadway, which connects Irving with Grand Prairie, has often been described by area officials as well as constituents as one of the greatest needs for both communities.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in celebration of this trigovernmental partnership led by Dallas County last month. On hand for the celebration were Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne, Irving Council Members John Danish, Brad LaMorgese, Allan Meagher and Dennis Webb. Representing Grand Prairie were Mayor Ron Jensen and other council members. Dallas County Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia and North Central Texas Council of Governments Director of Transportation Michael Morris also were in attendance.
“This was a fantastic effort that leveraged partner dollars to build a much-needed thoroughfare,” said Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne. “Regional mobility will be faster, safer and the road will allow for future development and other improvements in far south Irving, which is a beautiful area of our city with tremendous potential.”
The $25 million project, which has been on the books for at least 16 years, involved converting the 2.5 mile two-lane asphalt road into a four-lane divided concrete highway with improved drainage to reduce the risk of flooding. In addition, a 1,000-foot bridge has been constructed over Bear Creek with connections to nearby trail systems operated by Grand Prairie and Irving.
“This project is long overdue, and I am so proud that we could finally make it happen. Projects like this can’t happen without the trust, commitment and shared vision that create a strong partnership,” said Garcia. “The City of Grand Prairie and City of Irving share Dallas County’s vision of improved mobility for our residents, and I deeply appreciate their partnership on this and so many other projects that will make a difference in our community.”
The completion of the Hunter Ferrell Road is expected to yield economic development benefits. By elevating the bridge above the floodplain and relocating many crossing utility lines underground, area property values are likely to increase.
Funding for the $25-million project was shared among the three governmental agencies and included contributions from the County Major Capital Improvements Program. In addition to helping reconstruct Hunter Ferrell Road, Irving’s investment helped realize streetscape enhancements and landscaping to include the realignment of a section of Story Road. Efforts to maintain the reconstructed roadway also will be a collaborative effort, with the cities of Grand Prairie and Irving managing respective sections of the project.