Road expansion project moves forward

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A planned widening of Smith Ranch Road may be complete by 2019, Pearland city staff say.

“That’s our current expectation,” Assistant City Manager Trent Epperson told city council at its Oct. 10 meeting, when a $1.1 million contract for engineering services was approved.

The contract was awarded to Dannenbaum Engineering Corp. The road is expected to be widened from Hughes Ranch Road to FM 518. The city is to cover 20 percent of costs, with the rest coming from a Transportation Improvement Plan, or “TIP” grant funding.

On paper, the Hughes Ranch Road project is funded tentatively for the year 2022.

“Hughes Ranch Road right now is funded much further out in the overall TIP program,” Epperson said. “However, it has environmental clearance, we’ve purchased the bulk of the right of way and we have some utility relocation to do. Basically at that point, we’re shovel ready.”

Mayor Tom Reid credits much of the progress to being prepared when TIP grants become available.

“We have been able to move up in a number of cases because staff has been able to bring a number of our projects up to shovel ready and that makes a big difference,” he said.

The 2-lane, asphalt road will be expanded to a four-lane, concrete curb and gutter divided road, with raised medians, storm sewers, sidewalks and landscaping. Also, about 7,000 feet of fiber will be installed.

Approved at the same meeting was a $683,000 contract for professional services for the Barry Rose Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion.

“This is for a preliminary engineering services and professional services contract,” City Manager Clay Pearson told council.

Story by Nicole Jones

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