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Posted on: November 17, 2016

COURT RECEIVES POSITIVE TRANSPORTATION BOND FORECAST

Parker County’s transportation program is back driving forward with initial plans laid out at the Monday Nov. 14 Commissioners Court meeting.
With the desire to continue the county’s policy of transparency, County Judge Mark Riley asked the county’s financial advisor George Williford, with First Southwest, to present the court with an aggressive timeline, for sale bonds in an effort to get projects started as soon as possible.
Williford recommended a February 2017 issuance of $38.1 million, half of the voter approved $76.2 million.
Bond sales for the remaining $38.1 million would take place in February of 2019.
“We are going to handle this bond just like the 2008 Transportation Bond,” Riley said. “We are going to work aggressively and efficiently in completing our transportation projects with transparency and as quick as possible. Our new transportation website will allow the voters to see where their money is going.”
Williford was followed by Transportation Engineer Chris Bosco of Freese and Nichols, who laid out the timeline to the court for the start of project construction.
Bosco said the precinct projects other than the East Loop could actually break ground or have the design phase completed in 2017.
Riley and the Commissioners said they wanted to get work started as quick as possible.
Bosco said construction on the East Loop would not likely begin until late 2018 with right of way acquisition taking place over the next 12-18 months following sale of the bonds in February. Current traffic counts on the west loop show over 10,000 cars per day using the new roadway with higher estimates projected for the East Loop.
At $56 million, the East Loop is the largest project of the 2016 transportation bond program. It is a continuation of the Ric Williamson Memorial Highway from Interstate 20 west of Weatherford to FM 51 north of Weatherford and will connect to Interstate 20 between Weatherford and Hudson Oaks at the current Centerpoint Road locations.
“This new roadway will provide quicker access to both US 180 and I-20 for our Springtown area residents,” Precinct 1 Commissioner George Conley said.
With funds leveraged from the state with the 2008 bond, the new I-20 Interchange at Centerpoint Road will provide motorists more efficient options when traveling through the east side. Along with the interchange, new frontage roads will be built along I-20 from Hudson Oaks to Weatherford.
Bond projects in Springtown and Precinct 1 include new roads such as the Walnut Creek Road Extension, widening Stewart Street and several major intersection improvements at FM 730 and SH 199, signals at FM 730 and Flatrock Road, signals at FM 1886 and FM 3325 and the widening of FM 51 from 5th Street to Pojo Road in Springtown.
“I am looking to get started on the widening of Stewart Street and construction of the Walnut Creek Road extension by summer if possible,” Conley said. “These next two years are going to be busy with road construction and intersection improvements and that will be a good thing for our residents.”
Precinct 2 projects include reconstruction of New Authon Road and intersection improvements at North Bend Road and FM 51 as well as SH 199 and Old Agnes Road and 4.5 miles of new roadway on New Authon Road, in addition to the East Loop.
Improvements to the intersection at North Bend Road and FM 51 include turn lanes off FM 51, realignment of the intersection and new pavement markings and signs.
“Improving safety is a top priority for us,” Peacock said. “This is a project that will definitely improve safety at FM 51 and North Bend Road.”
Improving roadway grades and a traffic signal are other safety measures that will be part of the intersection improvements at Highway 199 and Old Agnes if the 2016 Transportation Bond is approved.
Reconstruction of 4.5 miles of New Authon Road from FM 1885 to FM 113 is another project that will improve mobility in Precinct 2. The work will include improved drainage ditches and culverts, guardrail and safety improvements and pavement markings and signage.
Precinct 3 has three major projects. Projects include traffic signals at FM 1189 and the intersections with the Brock Elementary School and the Brock High School, something much needed and requested by Brock ISD, said Precinct 3 Commissioner Larry Walden.
The intersection improvements at FM 1189 and the two Brock schools will also include turn lanes, improved intersection alignments and new pavement markings and signs to help lessen traffic congestion and expedite traffic dropping off and picking up students during school hours.
Another large project in Precinct 3 is the reconstruction and improvement of 4.5 miles of Old Brock Road. Old Brock Road between Dennis and FM 1189 will be widened to 24 feet with improved drainage ditches and culverts. Guardrail and safety improvements will also be made as well as pavement markings and signage.
With improving safety as a top priority, improving FM 113 at the railroad crossing in Millsap is another part of the 2016 Transportation Bond. It includes lessening the crest at the railroad track, roadway realignment on FM 113 north of the railroad and new pavement markings and signs.
Aledo residents and those who live along FM 5 and FM 1187 south of Aledo will see FM 1187 widened to a 5 lane urban roadway section with pedestrian sidewalk improvements and improved access to schools. 2,900 linear feet of FM 1187 will be reconstructed as well as reconstruction of the intersection at FM 5 and FM 1187 to include turn lanes, improved alignment and improvements for pedestrians.
“We are also going to conduct a study to find out the best way to improve the FM 5 and FM 1187 intersection,” Precinct 4 Commissioner Steve Dugan said. “Of course there will be new pavement marking and signs as well.”
Those with students at Aledo ISD will see major roadway reconstruction with asphalt, widening and new pavement markings and signs to Vernon and Dean Roads, just to the northeast of Bearcat Stadium.
Those who travel the historic East Bankhead Highway will see the road widened as well as intersection improvements to FM 5 and Bankhead. Those improvements include turn lanes, a traffic signal warrant study then traffic signals, improved intersection alignment and new pavement markings and signs.
Other Aledo and Precinct 4 area projects include construction of a new segment of White Settlement Road. The new section of the road includes curve realignment with a rural two lane road, with pavement marking and signage.
For more information visit the county’s new transportation website, www.parkercountytransportation.com. The website lists all of the projects that are part of the 2016 bond, including interactive maps broken down by precincts and descriptions of the projects.


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