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June 15, 2012

I-30 exit to Walsh Ranch may be under construction by end of year, open by spring 2014.

2012-06-15_12-12-30_732@gdickson

WEATHERFORD - An Interstate 30 connection to the planned Walsh Ranch development could be under construction before the end of the year, and completed by spring 2014, officials said Friday. Completion of the I-30/Walsh Ranch Parkway interchange is considered a crucial step in kicking off the mixed-use, high-end residential and retail development in southwest Fort Worth that eventually could be home to as many as 50,000 people.

Photo: Parker County Judge Mark Riley greets guests Friday during a Mobility 2012 forum at the Doss Heritage and Cultural Center in Weatherford. 

It will be the first of five planned interchanges on I-30 and I-20 connecting the roughly 7,200-acre historic Walsh Ranch property on the Tarrant-Parker County line, about 15 miles west of downtown Fort Worth. The huge development will feature seven miles of interstate frontage, and good access to the highway system will be a key attraction, one official said.

"When you talk about potentially 40,000 to 50,000 people calling this home, you want them to not only be able to move freely but you don't want them to be clogging the freeway system," Stacey Jandrucko, Walsh Holdings LLC real estate director, told about 80 people Friday during a Parker County Mobility 2012 forum in Weatherford.

But once motorists exit the freeway, Jandrucko said, they'll experience bliss as they travel on Walsh Ranch Parkway, a wide road featuring enormous green space that gently cuts into the area's rugged terrain. A 12-foot-wide trail will snake along the parkway, making it possible for residents to run errands without getting into a car, she added.

"It will be a decompression zone," she said. "You just get that 'Ahh, I'm home' feeling."
Texas Department of Transportation officials confirmed at the forum that the goal is to connect Walsh Ranch to I-30 by spring 2014.
Walsh Ranch even features its own tree farm, where live oak, red oak, Caddo maple, Chinese pistachio, cedar elm and Texas ash are being grown for transplant around the development as necessary.

"How many developments come in and plant any trees, much less 16,000 trees?" asked Parker County Judge Mark Riley. 
Once that connection to the North Texas transportation grid is made, the next step will be finding buyers for homes expected to list in the $325,000 to $350,000 range. Walshranch

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Judgemarkriley

Thanks for covering the event.

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