Like many Texas cities, Aledo grew up around the intersection of a rail line and a state highway, specifically the east-west Union-Pacific Railroad (UPRR) tracks and FM1187. The farm-to-market road crosses the UPRR tracks in downtown Aledo, with homes, schools and businesses on roads radiating out from FM1187 on both sides of the railroad tracks.
The roadway has become more congested as Aledo has grown. Improvements to FM1187 from IH20-south into downtown Aledo were a significant component of the 2008 Parker County Transportation Bond Program. Improvements included improving the road to a four-lane concrete roadway up to the railroad tracks. These improvements, however, would compound congestion in downtown Aledo because the lanes crossing the railroad tracks could not be expanded. A separate project to address the crossing was added: Aledo Trail.
The Aledo Trail design team devised an elegant solution to this potential bottleneck: split the north- and south-bound lanes, adding a second, two-lane crossing two blocks west of the original (now northbound) crossing. With the cooperation of the Union Pacific Railroad and the support of the City of Aledo, the new crossing was designed and the older crossing improved with safety features.
What could have been a bottleneck instead has become two safe crossings for vehicles and pedestrians, and the corridor now qualifies as a quiet zone, which means that the trains – 19-to-32 per day – that rumble through the city are no longer required to sound their horns except in emergencies.
Aledo trail was substantially complete March 17, 2015. By that date, traffic had been flowing around the couplet configuration since the start of school in August, 2014, and the City of Aledo and Parker County celebrated the new roadway December 9, 2014.