BY LUKE RANKER, Star-Telegram
With no fanfare, the White Settlement Road bridge near downtown opened to traffic Friday, more than six years after Fort Worth dignitaries gathered for an explosive ceremony to kick start construction of Panther Island.
Construction crews dragged barricades off the roadway just before 4 p.m., but little was said about the bridge’s opening. The seemingly perpetually delayed bridge had become a bane for businesses in the area that were cut off from downtown.
“The entire area is excited for that bridge to be opened up,” said Steve Metcalf, president of the White Settlement Road Development Task Force. “We’re fired up.”
Of the three bridges under construction for the $1.17 billion Panther Island project, White Settlement is the only one without an obvious detour, forcing downtown motorists who want to reach Metcalf’s Dealer Alternative, 2701 White Settlement Rd., or nearby Angelo’s BBQ to take a long route down West Seventh Street.
The lack of thru traffic put a damper on business along White Settlement Road. Metclaf said on average over the last few years Dealer Alternative’s business had been down about 15%. With COVID-19 restrictions, business was down nearly 30% last year, though he said he wanted to remain positive about the bridge opening.
“I don’t want to worry about spilled milk,” he said.
At Angelo’s BBQ, 2533 White Settlement Rd., sales have been down 20% to 25% since the road closed, owner Jason George said. He’s hoping things will pick up soon, especially if drivers who want to avoid congested West Seventh start using White Settlement. That congestion may pick up as the city moves forward with a improvements to West Seventh that will likely cause lane closures.
“Compared to how our lunches have been over the past few years, today was very, very good,” George said.
Chopped beef sandwiches are just $3 this week to celebrate the opening, which he said was a surprise. Some workers had told him the bridge could open last Thursday, but at one point a large electric sign advertised April 7.
The spans are needed to connect Panther Island to the rest of Fort Worth and must be finished before the Army Corps of Engineers can begin digging a 1.5-mile bypass channel between the two forks of the Trinity River. The channel portion of the project has lacked federal funding for several years.
When Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, U.S. Rep. Kay Granger and others gathered to celebrate the official start of the project in November 2015 with a ceremonial explosion, the bridges were expected to open between 2017 and 2018, according to Star-Telegram archives. Design issues held up construction and their opening was pushed to 2019. Then project officials said the White Settlement bridge would be finished by late summer 2020, but the date was pushed back again to the end of last year. COVID-19 and construction delays pushed the date into 2021 with speculation during Trinity River Vision Authority board meetings that White Settlement would open in February or March. TxDOT put the opening date in “early 2021.”
Bridges for North Main and Henderson should open in the coming months. The bridges cost about $90 million, but damages may be assessed related to delays of White Settlement, a TxDOT spokesperson said.
Some lanes on the bridge may close to traffic as crews from contractor Sterling Texas wrap up work, according to a media advisory TxDOT posted Friday afternoon. Pedestrians may cross on the south side of the bridge, but the north sidewalk is still closed.
A spokesperson for the Trinity River Vision Authority said the city and TxDOT did not formally announce the opening. Metcalf said he received calls from the city a few days before it opened.
About 30 minutes after the barricades were removed, Metcalf said he started to see cars trickling over the bridge.
“I imagine some of those people driving over the bridge don’t know it’s been closed for nearly seven years,” Metcalf said.
FORT WORTH, Texas (April 1, 2021) — The Fort Worth Botanic Garden | Botanical Research Institute of Texas (FWBG|BRIT) invites visitors to the inaugural “Spring Market in the Garden” May 2 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event offered throughout the combined campus includes the annual Spring Sip and Shop, a new Tea and Coffee Festival, and a free Afternoon in the Garden (12 p.m. – 2 p.m.).
With numerous local artisans, food trucks, live music and more, this indoor-outdoor event is enhanced by the full-bloom beauty of spring in Fort Worth.
“Spring Market in the Garden is the perfect place to shop, eat, and enjoy the blooming garden landscape,” says FWBG|BRIT Assistant Director Bob Byers. “Support your local artisans, social distance, and sip on a favorite beverage while exploring our other exhibits, such as Stickwork by Patrick Dougherty and Topiaries in the Garden.”
This event will follow Tarrant County and CDC guidelines (social distancing, sanitizing stations, and masks will be required indoors).
The Fort Worth Community Arts Center is pleased to announce Jose "Mr. Lonely" Salinas' first solo exhibition, From Behind the Walls. In the form of ink drawings and poetry, Salinas' art portrays his life, dreams, and regrets during his time incarcerated in prison, sharing his struggles with addiction and longing for home from "behind the walls."
Salinas’ work is greatly influenced by and embodies Chicano imagery and the work in From Behind the Walls infuses those elements with vignettes of an imprisoned person's life and fantasies: religious icons, temptations, and family members. Images of hope and hopelessness weave throughout Salinas' work and he states that his artwork became a source of therapy, allowing him to stay focused. In many ways, Salinas’ voice is not one heard often in art spaces and he hopes that his art tells a complicated story beyond a cautionary tale.
Like all exhibitions on view in the Arts Center’s nine gallery spaces, From Behind the Walls is free to visit, Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The exhibition opened at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center on March 26, 2021 and will be in view until May 15, 2021. An interview with artist Jose Salinas is scheduled to premiere April 15, 2021 on the Arts Center’s website www.fwcac.org.
Wolfgang Puck Catering and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth announce their partnership, with the former now joining as operator of all the Museum’s catering and events, as well as Café Modern, beginning this spring. With its unique restaurant-style approach to catering, Wolfgang Puck Catering is nationally recognized for its warm hospitality, creative cuisine, and customized experiences.
“We have been fortunate to be a part of the Texas culinary landscape for the past 13 years, and we are excited to expand our footprint in the state with our new partnership with the Modern,” said Drew Swanson, Texas Regional Executive Chef, Wolfgang Puck Catering.
“Wolfgang Puck Catering brings an international reputation for excellence to Café Modern, and we look forward to working with their team,” said Marla Price, Director, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
Leading the culinary team will be Chef Jett Mora, a seasoned Wolfgang Puck Catering veteran for the past decade. A staunch believer in local immersion, Mora has already spent time in the region with Regional Executive Chef Drew Swanson forging relationships with farmers and purveyors. As a result, Mora will create seasonal menus rooted in Texas ingredients combined with Wolfgang’s signature touch.
At Café Modern, Mora will team with General Manager Roxanne Mclarry, who has been with the Museum for the past 17 years. Slated to open this spring, the restaurant will offer weekday lunch, Friday happy hour, Friday dinner, and weekend brunch with seating available both indoors and on the expansive outdoor patio. The menus will feature comfort food with global influences and a beverage program showcasing local spirits.
The Modern occupies a world-renowned building designed by Tadao Ando, with a picturesque reflecting-pond backdrop, making it an impressive venue for corporate or social events. Mora and his team of chefs will customize each event menu to tell the client’s story through food. As the exclusive caterer for many of the country’s premier cultural, corporate, and entertainment centers, Wolfgang’s expert team of experienced planners and chefs handle all the details from start to finish, creating a truly personalized event.
About Executive Chef Jett Mora
A graduate of the Academy of Culinary Education in California, the Los Angeles-born and bred chef Jett Mora began his cooking career with the highly acclaimed Wolfgang Puck Catering (WPC) in 2011. Working in WPC’s flagship Hollywood & Highland kitchen, Mora spent years working alongside Wolfgang and his team of chefs to create menus for weddings, special events, corporate galas, and some of the country’s premier events including the Oscars® Governors Ball.
Throughout his ten years with Wolfgang Puck Catering, Mora’s creativity, leadership, and support enabled him to advance quickly through the ranks, leading corporate dining at a top technology and entertainment client before joining Puck’s West Hollywood restaurant Red Seven as Executive Chef.
Mora then received the coveted opportunity to cook inside Wolfgang’s Test Kitchen, the master chef’s culinary incubator where Mora created his own multi-course tasting menus. This “experimental” restaurant allowed Mora to explore new dishes, ingredients, and cuisines and to design menus without limitations.
In 2021, Mora relocated to Fort Worth, Texas to lead the culinary team at the Modern, overseeing food and beverage operations, menu creation and catering and events, including running the museum’s signature restaurant, Café Modern.
Wolfgang Puck Catering Press Contacts
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
3200 Darnell Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76107
Museum Gallery Hours
Tue-Sun 10 am-5 pm
Fri 10 am-8 pm
General Admission Prices (includes special exhibition)
$16: General (age 18 and above)
$12: Seniors (age 60+), Active/Retired Military Personnel and First Responders with ID
$10: Students with ID
Free: Under 18 years old
The Museum offers half-price tickets on Sundays and free admission on Fridays.
Published by The City of Fort Worth
Texas Health Resources is committed to providing communities with education and resources regarding COVID-19. Free downloads are available to leaders and organizations of influence to engage communities with COVID-19 information and vaccine education.
Community groups are encouraged to download, share or print any of the collateral pieces and social media posts.
The handouts, available in both English and Spanish, are especially important for groups that are disproportionately affected by the pandemic or who may be hesitant regarding vaccines.
View and download the handouts.
The materials complement other resources available to the community from UNTHSC, Tarrant County Public Health and the City of Fort Worth.
Spring bird migration will be underway soon and organizations across Texas will turn their lights out at night as we welcome hundreds of millions of birds migrating through our state on their way north from their southern wintering grounds.
The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History would like to partner with our Cultural District Alliance Members to support this initiative.
We hope you will join us in supporting this important effort to protect migrating birds by turning off all non-essential lights during the critical peak spring migration period from April 19 – May 7. Each night and each light turned out helps save migrating birds by reducing collisions with brightly lit buildings.
It’s easy to participate and it’s a win-win for business:
Bird collisions can occur at any point during the full spring migration of March 1 – June 15. This spring, we at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History along with all who choose to join us will be prioritizing the window of April 19 – May 7, when half of the total spring bird migration traffic passes through Texas. As an added bonus, turning off non-essential lights also saves energy for cities, local businesses, and homeowners!
If you would like to join us in this effort and be listed in the Press Release that the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History will be developing, please let us know at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published by the City of Fort Worth
The Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce and the Star-Telegram will host a moderated forum with Fort Worth mayoral candidates from 11 a.m. to noon April 14.
The forum, held virtually on Zoom, will touch on issues facing the business community, including economic development, education and workforce. The panel is open to the public and free to attend. Registration is limited to 500.
“We’re excited to host and hear from our mayoral candidates on policy and plans for the future of our city,” said Brandom Gengelbach, president and CEO of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. “Our new mayor will inherit a hefty agenda that includes assisting the business community get back on its feet after this pandemic. Our goal is to provide a platform that allows them to hear from candidates directly and make informed decisions at the polls.”
Confirmed candidates include City Councilmembers Brian Byrd and Ann Zadeh; Deborah Peoples, chair of the Tarrant County Democratic Party; Mattie Parker, Mayor Betsy Price’s former chief of staff; and Daniel Caldwell, educator. Additional candidates will be added as confirmed.
Ryan Rusak, opinion editor at the Star-Telegram, will moderate the forum and ask questions relevant to the business community.
The Fort Worth Botanic Garden-Botanical Research Institute of Texas invites visitors to celebrate spring in the Japanese Garden while exploring the arts and culture of Japan during the March 27-28 Spring Japanese Festival. Tickets are now on sale.
Hosted in cooperation with the Fort Worth Japanese Society, the festival includes cultural demonstrations, performances, unique shopping opportunities and traditional foods.
Japanese Society member Harvey Yamagata said this year’s zodiac symbol represents a new perspective from last year’s Year of the Rat. “We look to 2021 and the Year of the Ox as a sign of new hope, new prosperity and new wellness,” Yamagata said. “With emerging foliage, warmer weather and the chance to be in beautiful outdoor surroundings, the spring festival corresponds nicely with those attributes.”
Festival admission this spring offers a triple benefit, said Vice President for Horticulture and Assistant Director Bob Byers. “The thousands of tulips we planted in the fall will be on impressive display that weekend,” Byers said. “As well, the large outdoor Stickwork exhibit is complete, waiting for in-and-out discovery and exploration.”
As with the Fall Japanese Festival, the same safety requirements will be in place. “Being outdoors, wearing masks, safe distanced and timed entry seemed to provide the assurance guests needed based on the encouraging feedback we received,” Byers said.
Japanese culture highlights from the Spring Festival will include:
Performances by two Taiko drumming groups, karate experts and Master Swordsman G.K. Sugai.
Displays of the miniature worlds of bonsai trees from the Fort Worth Bonsai Society, and demonstrations in origami, calligraphy and Japanese games.
Vendors selling treasures from origami jewelry to anime plush figures, star charts to crafts made with vintage kimonos.
Food from Asian food trucks preparing delicious meals and snacks, as well as authentic Japanese cuisine prepared by the Fort Worth Japanese Society.
Safety protocols and other event details include:
Tickets are included with the price of Botanic Garden admission ($12) and must be bought online to adhere to admission limits for the Festival. Purchase tickets online.
Members receive free entry, but still must register in advance. Become a member.
Guests entering the Garden must wear masks, which are required for this event.
Performances have been moved outside of the Japanese Garden to ensure plenty of space between performers and the public.
Hand sanitizing stations will be positioned around the Garden, and vendors will provide sanitizer at their booths.
Fort Worth has proposed several dozen projects to be considered as part of a $400 million transportation bond program being developed by the Tarrant County Commissioners Court. The bond program will go before voters countywide in November.
In 2006, Tarrant County voters approved a $200 million transportation bond program that funded improvements to many roadways in the county.
“Since 2006, Tarrant County has become one of the fastest growing counties in the nation, resulting in an increased demand on our transportation system,” County Administrator G.K. Maenius said when announcing the 2021 transportation bond program.
Fort Worth’s Transportation & Public Works staff has reviewed the county’s bond policy, criteria and three main funding categories to identify eligible projects with the best opportunity for county bond funding.
The city would be required to provide at least a 50% local match of the total cost of each project. The proposed 2022 city bond program funds are expected to provide the bulk of the local match, along with available transportation impact fee funds and other sources as available.
Tarrant County will establish a project evaluation committee to develop a priority list of projects that will be sent to the Commissioners Court for approval.
These projects have been identified for city funding and Tarrant County bond funding:
The city’s identified projects total $404,100,000, with $204,500,000 of that amount coming from the city’s 2022 bond and other funding sources.
“City staff is constantly looking at projects that are candidates for a bond election and have been working on the proposed 2022 Bond program since the summer of 2019,” said City Manager David Cooke. “The selected projects are an excellent opportunity to partner with Tarrant County to make some roadway improvements throughout the city.”
On Jan. 28, city staff was officially informed of the $400 million 2021 Tarrant County Transportation Bond Program. City staff have reviewed the criteria and three main funding categories as outlined in the county’s bond policy to put forward projects with the highest opportunity for selection.
Two public meetings are scheduled to allow Fort Worth residents to learn about the bond program and the identified city projects:
Tuesday, March 23, 6 p.m. Meeting conducted via Webex. The meeting number is 182 003 1908; the meeting password is transportation. The call-in number is 469-210-7159.
Saturday, March 27, 10 a.m. Meeting conducted via Webex. The meeting number is 182 033 1979; the meeting password is transportation. The call-in number is 469-210-7159.
Fort Worth plans its own city bond election in May 2022. Public meetings for the city’s 2022 bond election will begin this summer.
On April 6, the City Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution of support for the county bond program. Commissioners Court approval is expected to come in the August-September timeframe.
Written and posted by Culture Map
Fort Worth’s Hotel Dryce hasn’t even opened its doors yet, but it’s already generating some serious buzz.
In a January 23 Forbes article, travel journalist Roger Sands lists Hotel Dryce as one of "the world's most exciting hotel openings" in 2021.
“The modern 21-room hotel will include a trendy lobby bar-café hybrid meant to be a gathering place for residents and visitors alike," Sands writes. "The hotel has an art grant with Fort Worth art gallery Art Tooth to exhibit local BIPOC artists’ work throughout the hotel."
Along with business partner Allen Mederos, Fort Worth entrepreneur Jonathan Morris is building his first boutique hotel in an old dry-ice factory across from the new Dickies Arena in the Cultural District. Morris also owns the Fort Worth Barber Shop and is hosting a new show about entrepreneurs set to debut on Chip and Joanna Gaines’ forthcoming Magnolia Network.
In December, Travel + Leisure gave a nod to Hotel Dryce in a piece ranking Fort Worth among the 50 best places in the U.S. to visit this year. Also in December, Fodor’s Travel named Hotel Dryce one of its 15 most eagerly awaited new hotels in 2021.
The hotel broke ground in March 2020. In a recent Instagram post, Morris wrote that construction on the three-story, 10,645-square-foot hotel is a couple of months away from being finished. “Can’t wait to share this dream with y’all,” he wrote.
That dream, he has said, is to create a gathering place that welcomes travelers from around the world and reflects the culture of Fort Worth.
“I feel so bullish about Fort Worth and the way the city is growing,” he said last August in an interview about his new show.
Fort Worth-based architecture firm Bennett Benner Partners designed Hotel Dryce, and Fort Construction is the general contractor.
Hotel Dryce is the only Texas hotel to appear on the Forbes list of nine anticipated openings. It keeps company with hotels in Republic of Seychelles; Providenciales, Turks and Caicos; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Cancun, Mexico; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Birmingham, Alabama; and San Diego, Los Angeles, California.
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