By A. Lee Graham

The construction timeline for the White Settlement bridge and roundabout along the Trinity River has been moved up three years after U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, met with those involved with financing the Trinity Uptown bridges project.

Meeting with Granger in Washington, D.C. on July 20 were U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Texas Department of Transportation Commissioner Bill Meadows, TxDOT Fort Worth District Engineer Maribel Chavez, North Central Texas Council of Governments Transportation Director Michael Morris, and representatives from the city of Fort Worth and Tarrant Regional Water District.

The meeting saw renewed interest in the Trinity Uptown bridges project and the White Settlement bridge and roundabout’s construction timeline moved up and set to begin in summer 2013.

Officials also agreed to discuss ways to fill the $22.3 million White Settlement bridge project shortfall.

LaHood pledged to work closely with Fort Worth in monthly meetings between federal and city officials to ensure that the partnership continues throughout the project.

“The new Trinity River Uptown bridges project is important for the state of Texas, and we will work closely with all of the stakeholders to keep the process moving so construction can get under way as soon as possible,” said LaHood, commenting in a news release.

Granger called the effort good news for area employment.

“TRV [Trinity River Vision] is a plan for Fort Worth’s future and will bring 16,000 jobs and over $1 billion in economic benefits to our community,” Granger said.

The past six months have seen progress in designing Henderson Street, North Main Street and White Settlement Road bridges. And in June, design work on the Henderson structure was 95 percent complete, and 30 percent complete for North Main and White Settlement bridges.

Officials have described access as important as plans proceed in the $909 million effort to transform acreage north of downtown into a recreation destination.

“The Trinity River Vision is a unique, multi-faceted plan that will improve the quality of life and livability of Fort Worth,” Meadows said. “The White Settlement bridge is a vital piece of the plan to ensure efficient movement of traffic.”