NTTA concedes delay in Chisholm Trail Parkway noise wall

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on October 21, 2013 at 10:00 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 21 at 9:30 PM

Where's the fence?

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FORT WORTH — Noise, construction and dust are a common sight in Margie Virchis' backyard in far southwest Fort Worth. She has been living with the Chisholm Trail Parkway construction project for months.

"It's real frustrating because it's noisy, dirty, all the time," she said.

The new toll road is being built behind the retired mom's home on Stockton Drive. News 8 first met with Virchis last August. She contacted us to voice her frustrations about delays in the installation of a sound barrier behind her fence.

At the time, she mentioned that workers at the construction site told her the delays were due to a problem with the barriers. The North Texas Tollway Authority told News 8 in August there was no delay, and that the project was on track. The agency promised the barrier would arrive at the end of the summer.

It never did.

"It's still not here, and the construction continues," Virchis said last week. "I felt like that they were not telling me the truth when I asked him things, so I let it go."

We checked on the progress of the sound barrier. It turns out the NTTA failed to meet its summer deadline because there was a problem with at least four of the walls. Workers have been removing some of the damaged sections.

Larry Vereen, Virchis' neighbor, lost a section of his barrier. Crews also knocked down his neighbor's wall. Both were removed in the last few weeks.

Vereen said he's getting tired of the amount of dust blowing into his backyard every day.

"I was in there watching TV, and all of a sudden I heard a rumble like a 747 had crashed out in the backyard," he said. "We waited a year to get these [walls] put up, and now we've got them all pulled out. It doesn't make sense."

The NTTA started handing out fliers to homeowners last Friday notifying them that the walls are now scheduled to be finished by the end of the year. The agency claims construction obstacles took longer than expected to resolve.

"There are several panels in the area near Ms. Virchis' yard that needed to be removed," said NTTA spokeswoman Susan Slupecki. "We did not want to cast the panel that would go behind her house until we removed the others so as not to possibly damage her wall in the process. We regret the delay and inconvenience to Ms. Virchis and the other homeowners, and we are working with the contractor to complete the walls as fast as possible without jeopardizing the visual and structural quality of the work."

Virchis and her neighbors will have to keep waiting for a fix, hoping the updated barriers will be installed as promised.

"At least I'm not the only one now," she said. "All I want is my wall. That’s it."

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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