A project long in the one-step-at-a-time phase will begin getting its final facelift on Monday. That is the Texas Department of Transportation’s drainage improvement project on FM 121, east of the railroad tracks.


TxDOT’S Sherman Area office engineer, Aaron Bloom, notified the city last fall that TxDOT had a drainage maintenance project along East Jefferson Street (FM 121) to improve the existing drainage on the north side of the highway, said City Engineer Len McManus. Bloom brought it to the city’s attention that there was a possible conflict in that area with the city’s water line. McManus said they investigated and found about 700 feet of water line in direct conflict with the proposed improvements.


“In accordance with the city’s license agreement with TxDOT,” McManus said, “all city utilities located in TxDOT right-of-way are subject to relocation at the city’s expense.”


Coincidentally, the city was in budget discussion at the time TxDOT gave them this mandate. They incorporated funding for the city’s cost of $130,000 in the capital loan they approved for a new Public Works building. “This includes survey, engineering, inspection and construction,” McManus said. The city completed, through contracted help, the water line re-construction nearly two weeks ago.”


The city does not have a role or added expenses in the drainage project.


TxDOT’S Tim McAlavy said they have contracted with Beck-Reit & Sons LTD, of Austin, for the project, estimated to cost TxDOT more than $192,000 to complete. Beck-Reit & Sons has 30 working days to complete the project, with an estimated completion date of August 15, weather permitting.


McAlvay said the contractors will add parallel drainage structures at several locations on FM 121 between Moody Lane and Lincoln Park Road. At times, flaggers will be directing traffic and there will be temporary lane closures.


“Motorists who travel through this area are asked to pay special attention to all signs, barricades and traffic controls, reduce their speed as they approach, and travel cautiously through work zones. They should also avoid distractions such as cell phones, eating, drinking, or car audio or navigation systems,” McAlvay cautioned.


McManus said that some residents on the north side of FM 121 could have their driveway access interrupted at times, but that every effort will be made to get them temporary access.