The City of Fort Worth and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) have joined forces in a new pilot partnership aimed at combating the increasing issue of litter along highways and green spaces in the area.
Addressing Critical Issues
The collaborative program enables the City and its partners to enhance maintenance services, focusing on litter collection along highway rights-of-way and adjacent green spaces. Additionally, the initiative includes supplemental debris collection and sweeping along highway inner and outer lanes, entrance and exit ramps, particularly in TxDOT’s North and South Tarrant Maintenance Areas.
The escalating concern over litter in public spaces prompted strategic discussions between Fort Worth, TxDOT, and partnering organizations. The goal is to address five key service areas: litter abatement, debris removal, highway street sweeping, mowing, and highway storm drain inlet cleaning for specific controlled-access state highways or highway segments in Fort Worth.
Monthly meetings between TxDOT staff and a collaboration of City staff and partners are underway to coordinate highway maintenance efforts. The focus is on aligning contracted services, streamlining work schedules, and establishing uniform standards of care to provide a more unified approach.
Operational Initiatives Begin
Starting in November, UpSpire crews, following mandatory safety training, began working on litter collection in roadside green spaces. In December, a new highway street sweeping and debris removal contractor will be onboarded for the South Tarrant County Maintenance Area. Initial efforts will concentrate on I-35W between downtown and I-20, as well as along I-30 from downtown to the west, including related interchanges and selected bridges.
Mayor Mattie Parker emphasized the significance of collaboration, stating, “By working together and leveraging partnerships and resources, I believe we can create and maintain a cleaner and more attractive community for residents and visitors. We are better, together.”
Cody Whittenburg, interim environmental services director, echoed the sentiment, expressing excitement about the opportunity to extend anti-littering efforts into highway systems to boost community pride, economic development, and tourism.
A recent amendment to the Municipal Maintenance Agreement between TxDOT and the City, effective since November 6, signifies a formal commitment to the partnership.
Janet Crawford, TxDOT Fort Worth District Director of Maintenance, stressed the collective responsibility in addressing litter, stating, “Litter control is everyone’s responsibility.”
To encourage community involvement, residents are urged to "Stop it! Report it! Pick it up!" Individuals can easily report litter, including litter on state highways, using the MyFW app.