Got ideas for the new Fort Worth City Hall? Officials want public opinion on the proposed spillway

Fort Worth residents are being given the opportunity to share their opinions on whether the city should amend a federal flood as part of the construction of the new City Hall. The comment period, which ends on June 4th, is integral to the city obtaining a Section 408 permit, which would allow construction crews to commence grading at the former Pier 1 building at 100 Energy Way.

The purchasing of the new building for the City Hall was done without taking into account that the building plans would conflict with a federal flood, which ultimately led to the city spending $7.6 million in delays and permitting costs in relation to the proposed flood modification. This modification would allow for the creation of a 28,000-square-foot building, parking facilities, sidewalks, driveways, and a plaza.

The city is currently undergoing a lengthy and costly process with the United States Army Corps of Engineers to obtain a Section 408 permit. Such a permit would enable the applicant, in this case, the city of Fort Worth, to modify a civil works project such as a course easement. However, the modification must not harm the public nor reduce the project’s effectiveness, according to Clay Church, a public affairs specialist at the corps’ Fort Worth district. The process has resulted in construction delays of approximately 18 months, as initially reported by the Fort Worth Report. Originally scheduled to open to the public later this year, the developers now anticipate the new Fort Worth City Council chambers to open in 2024.

The Army Corps of Engineers will deliberate on the construction plan after receiving comments from the public. Tanyan Farley, who serves as project manager for New City Hall at Athenian Group, acknowledged that a long process had led up to this moment. “There are many well-documented, well-written, well-thought-out rules and regulations to keep people safe to ensure we don’t negatively impact federal flooding,” said Farley, adding, “We’ve had a great partnership between TRWD and the Corps of Engineers, and we’re happy to be in this period of public comment.”

To post public comments, use this public notice. Comments must be submitted to [email protected] by June 4th and reference the Section 408 Request ID # and project name. The Request ID number is 408-SWF-2022-0004, and the project name is Fort Worth City Hall. Any telephone inquiries or requests for additional information may be directed to Jason Story at (817) 886-1852 or [email protected] All comments supporting, opposing, or identifying concerns that the Corps of Engineers should consider in its decision-making process are welcome, according to the agency’s May 5th public notice.

The Corps of Engineers will evaluate the modification request based on various assessing factors, including the overall impact on the utility of the spillway, whether the alteration negatively impacts the population, and whether it complies with environmental regulations. Thus far, the federal agency has verified that the alteration will not adversely affect endangered or threatened species or historic properties, according to the public notice. Farley is optimistic that the Corps of Engineers will thoroughly appraise the public’s comments and green-light the permit. Once all applicable organizations, including the Tarrant Regional Water District, have endorsed the permit, Fort Worth can proceed with grading and readying the site for foundation work.

The prospects for a swift decision are good, according to Farley, who explained, “It’s the first domino, if you will, for a number of others.” Emily Wolf is the government accountability reporter for the Fort Worth Report, while Haley Samsel serves as the environmental reporter. Both reporters can be contacted via email at [email protected].

At Fort Worth Report, editorial decisions are taken independently, without the influence or backing of financial sponsors or board members. For further information about our editorial independence policy, please read here.


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