Interstate 35, Bear Creek Road Expansion Remains Glenn Heights Priority

bear creek road improvements
Continued population growth coupled with ongoing road projects have resulted in excessive congestion at Interstate 35 East and Bear Creek Road. Bear Creek Road is the major entry point into Glenn Heights, Texas.

Mayor Tate Focuses On Bear Creek Road Expansion Project

GLENN HEIGHTS—There are many municipal improvements that Glenn Heights Mayor Leon Tate would like to see done. Transportation and roads have been an ongoing theme for him since he took office in 2013.

At this week’s council meeting, Tate expressed his dismay at the congestion at Interstate 35 and Bear Creek Road.

Tate recently made his case before several area officials. October 11, Tate met with Representative Helen Giddings, Department of Transportation Engineer John Kiser and DART Director Jesse Oliver.

Glenn Heights has seen a population boom in recent years. And with that growth comes traffic problems.

Aretha Ferrell-Benavides
Aretha Ferrell-Benavides

It is unclear what actions if any, the Department of Transportation plans to make. Glenn Heights City Manager Aretha Ferrell-Benavides said, “We have not received a response and don’t expect one for a few weeks.”

Tate sent two letters to Kiser on October 14 in a follow-up to the meeting asking for the installation of a dedicated Texas U-turn.

“We are seeking immediate action and attention to alleviate the increased traffic congestion,” Tate wrote. “As discussed in the meeting, this exit is a major gateway into the city.”

Population Surge Fuels Traffic Woes

He said the last three years in Glenn Heights has seen a “tremendous population surge” with the construction of 300 new homes representing 1,000 new residents.

In 2017, there is an expected 1000 additional new homes scheduled to be built in the city. “This will further exacerbate the congestion in this area,” Tate said.

Tate cites a concern for public safety of both drivers and pedestrians. He said the intersection is further challenged by the close proximity of the DART Park and Ride.
Currently, when drivers exit Bear Creek Road, there is a four-way stop sign. But its location is ineffective.

Hon. Leon Tate
Hon. Leon Tate

Tate says over the last three years, due to the location of the stop signs there have been many mishaps.

The mayor believes that the Bear Creek intersection is the only I-35 East intersection south of Dallas that does not have an expanded intersection, dedicated U-turn or traffic signal. Tate emphatically says that this warrants an expansion of some kind.

“Today this is our number one road construction priority,” he said. “We realized the importance of linking our Bear Creek Road re-alignment project to the future expansion of the state controlled intersection at E Bear Creek Road and Interstate 35.”

In a second letter to Kiser dated October 14 he indicated the importance of a Department of Transportation site study. The analysis included in the letter would consider the city’s requested intersection expansion. In turn, this would validate the necessity of adding a traffic signal light versus the current four-way stop.