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  • Rachel Behrndt

Bridge name could lead to change for White Settlement Road

Updated: Jan 31, 2023

Panther Island’s three bridges, including White Settlement bridge, are set to get new names; a new name for White Settlement Road, however, is stuck on the starting gate.

On Tuesday, the mayor and council discussed the process of choosing the names for three bridges recently completed as a part of the Panther Island Project. Henderson Street bridge, North Main Street bridge and White Settlement bridge are all unofficial names. Public input will determine their new names.

City officials are approaching renaming the bridges with public input in mind, Mayor Mattie Parker said. Residents will be able to submit name ideas to the city and then vote on which names they prefer. The council will adopt a resolution naming the bridges and erect signs in collaboration with the Texas Department of Transportation.

In July, Mayor Mattie Parker said she was open to changing the name of White Settlement Road, but no public action has been taken to review the process for changing the name since her statement.

“I think from that we’ll get some lessons learned to decide if and when we’re going to embark on White Settlement Road and what that would look like,” Parker said.

Pat Peterson, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and a founder of the Intertribal Community Council of Texas, said the community council are ready to be involved if and when the process for renaming the road begins.

“It is exciting news because we’ve waited a while,” Peterson said. “We’re ready to throw our hat in the ring.”

Residents will submit name ideas to be received by a naming committee. The committee will be made up of representatives from the City of Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Tarrant Regional Water District, Streams & Valleys and Visit Fort Worth. The committee will select five names to put forward for public voting.

White Settlement Road falls into the districts of Elizabeth Beck, Leonard Firestone and Michael Crain. Beck, whose district encompasses the start of White Settlement Road in downtown Fort Worth, said she hopes the process of bridge renaming spurs feedback the council can use to shape future renaming processes.

“That could certainly be useful when we take that next step and look at White Settlement Road in its entirety, not just the bridges,” Beck said.

Firestone could not be reached for comment. Crain’s district includes the part of White Settlement Road that extends past the town of White Settlement outside of the 820 Loop. The councilman said he needs to understand how the process of renaming the road would work before embarking on changes to White Settlement Road.

“I would want a lot more community input before we just make wild changes because outside the connotation of the name this has large business implications, too,” Crain said.

He is concerned about the logistical impacts of changing the road’s name for businesses and homes that receive mail. Also, the city should consider how the change would impact the city of White Settlement, which, despite being surrounded by the city, is a separate legal entity from Fort Worth.

Peterson said renaming the bridge isn’t the main concern of the Intertribal Community Council except that it could be an indication of the future of White Settlement Road. Peterson said representatives of the city told her the process used for the bridges could be applied to renaming the road, if it’s received well by residents.

“The city’s position is that whatever they do, they’re going to make sure they do it right, and we appreciate that,” Peterson said.

Rachel Behrndt is a government accountability reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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