Loop 820 / North Tarrant Express
In addition, the development of this project will greatly reduce congestion, enhance safety, expand economic opportunity, improve air quality and increase the value of the region's transportation assets. Construction of Phase 1 of the North Tarrant Express project is underway and is expected to be completed in 2015. Phase 1 includes 13 miles of Northeast Loop 820 and State Highway 121/183 from Interstate 35W to the State Highway 121 split. More details about the project are available on the North Tarrant Express website.
Loop 820 Corridor Plan
The City of North Richland Hills anticipates that the North Tarrant Express project will have a wide range of impacts on our community. Some properties along Loop 820 may change uses if land is acquired by the state, and traffic patterns on local streets are also likely to change or be altered due to the new location of on ramps and off ramps. To prepare for these changes, the city hired Kimley-Horn Associates and Townscape Inc. to develop a Loop 820 Corridor Plan.
The plan encompasses property adjacent to NE Loop 820 just west of Iron Horse Boulevard to just east of the interchange where Interstate NE Loop 820, Highway 183, and Boulevard 26 meet. The Loop 820 Corridor Plan was formally adopted by the City Council on July 25, 2005. It suggests some changes to the City's current land use plan, including an increasing in office space and mixed use development along the corridor. The development of a future regional rail station and more hike and bike routes are also identified in the plan. In addition, the plan identifies ways in which the City and property owners can work with the Texas Department of Transportation to improve traffic flow and access to properties.
The Loop 820 Corridor Plan will serve as a guide for future development and will ensure Loop 820 remains a vital business, entertainment and civic area bustling with activity and investment. To help spur development and redevelopment and to make NRH a unique destination, the plan proposes dividing the Loop 820 corridor into four districts: the Iron Horse District, the Civic District, the Crossroads District and the Designer District. Elements of each district may include way-finding signs, lighting, landscaping, buffering, crosswalk, banners and other decorative accents. The districts will distinguish North Richland Hills from other adjacent municipalities that share the corridor and will direct travelers to important civic and business destinations in our community.
The development of this plan included significant input from City staff, property owners along the corridor and other North Richland Hills residents. Consultants and staff had discussion with more than 1,000 individuals regarding this project. Numerous stakeholder meetings, public workshops and public focus group meetings were held during the study and planning process. The City of North Richland Hills thanks the many people who were involved in this process.
Implementing the Loop 820 Corridor Plan
It will take many years for the City to complete the recommendations made in the Loop 820 Corridor Plan. The City will involve the public and keep residents updated throughout the process. The North Richland Hills Planning & Zoning Commission will work out details for implementing specific land use changes, and will also set standards for screening and buffering of neighborhoods. There will be opportunity for more public input as these details are developed. There will be public meetings before the Planning & Zoning Commission, with final recommendations being forward to the City Council.
Questions or concerns about the future of the Loop 820 Corridor may be directed to Craig Hulse, Economic Development Director at 817-427-6091.