TxDOT Launches Ramp Improvements
By Office of Communication
Posted on August 02, 2012, August 02, 2012

Arlington is slated to receive $3.4 million in improvements along several TxDOT roadways within the city-Division Street, Interstate 20, Interstate 30 and State Highway 360.

Road crews from the Texas Department of Transportation will be working throughout Arlington to update or construct curb ramps to make street crossings and other pedestrian routes in the public right-of-way accessible to people with disabilities.

The effort, which recently started along far west Division Street, will continue until early 2014. It is part of a larger $15 million statewide curb ramp program.

The work is designed to bring roadways into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act which requires state and local governments to make pedestrian crossings accessible to people with disabilities.

The law, which protects civil rights and prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, is designed to ensure that all Americans have the same access to facilities and services.

The ramps are designed to provide a safe and accessible place for pedestrians and users of wheelchairs, motorized scooters or walkers to use when transitioning between the street and the sidewalk.

Val Lopez, a TxDOT spokesman, said that some ramps will be constructed at highway intersections that may not even be attached to a sidewalk as a way for users to get out of the traffic lane.

The improvements are slated for Division Street between Rand Street in Fort Worth and NW 25th Street in Grand Prairie; the I-20 frontage road between Treasure Island Trail and New York Avenue; the I-30 frontage road from Fielder Road to Cooper Street and State Highway 360 from Heritage Parkway to Cloverdale.

Lopez said the state generates an inventory of where the ramps are needed and each year officials select areas to receive improvements. He said the road work is expected to cause minimal impact on Arlington traffic during the construction, like a shoulder or a lane of traffic closed.

Keith Melton, Arlington's director of Public Works and Transportation, called the project an important one.

"We want to keep the city as barrier-free as possible," he said. "It's nice to get some help from the state with this."

Bob Hester, a member of the Mayor's Committee on People with Disabilities, said it can be difficult for a disabled person to navigate or cross an intersection without a curb ramp.

Hester, who uses a motorized scooter, said the goal is for those in wheelchairs, scooters, or walkers not to risk their personal safety by traveling alongside cars and other vehicles in the streets.

"When the wheelchair is in the street, it is dangerous for both the wheelchair rider and the driver," he said.

Hester also added that the new ADA ramps would make the city more accessible for able-bodied residents like those with children in strollers and the elderly.

"They serve a larger populace than just the physically disabled," he said.

Click here for more information on curb ramps and the ADA.

Ramp Improvements

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