WAXAHACHIE — Backed by a $9.5 million investment by the city, road construction crews are causing quite the dust-up throughout Waxahachie.
On average, the City of Waxahachie has rehabbed about 12 streets per year since 2009.
This year crews are currently tackling roadways and infrastructure along West Marvin, Stadium Drive, Overhill Drive, Greenbrier Street, Olive Street, Cedar Street and various roads downtown. With construction or reconstruction on Alexander, Cynisca, East University, Hawkins, Royal and Indian Trace Lane on the horizon.
The second phase of the West Marvin Avenue reconstruction is nearing completion. The project centers on the portion between Ferris Avenue and West University Avenue. It will repave the street, add sidewalks, new curbing, and gutter, water and sewer lines, as well as storm drainage.
The Waxahachie City Council awarded the bid for the second phase to the Tiseo Paving Company at its Dec. 21, 2015 meeting. The total cost of the project is $4,280,009.20.
The project was delayed by two to three weeks because of the discovery of undocumented natural gas line in May. The gas line has since been safely relocated.
“The paving is substantially done. They (the contractors) are making good headway on the sidewalks. That one is moving along quite nicely,” Director of Public Works Jeff Chambers said. “I am hoping that it will be done in maybe a month.”
Work continues in downtown Waxahachie on sections of Rogers Street, West Jefferson Street and College Street. The project was awarded to J&K Excavation at the June 6 city council meeting for $1,117,768.94.
The work consists of reconstructing the roadway, water lines, sewer lines, storm drainage work and reconstruction of some sidewalks. The water lines that are being replaced are made of cast iron and are about 100 years old.
Work on the project started in February and was expected to take 180 days to complete but has run into some delays.
“Coordination has been a little bit of a challenge. It is behind schedule. We are going to have a meeting with the downtown merchants and with the contractor, I think next week. He is going to go over his schedule and present it to the merchants and get their feedback,” Chambers explained. “Just coordinating with traffic and dealing with the older utilities the work hasn’t moved along as well as it should have. It is a difficult working environment.”
He estimates that there are about two months worth of work remaining, with completion expected around early October.
A portion of Stadium Drive, beginning at the intersection of Brown Street, is being completed by Grand Prairie-based McMahon Contracting at this time. The expected cost is $954,000.
Chambers stated that the project is not a complete corridor restoration project (water and sewer lines, street lights, sidewalks, paving), but includes paving, along with some water and sewer line and storm drainage work.
“This is a new contractor that is working for us. He has got a new crew and they are moving faster than we anticipated. They are doing a very good job,” Chambers said. “The very first time we used them was on Sagebrush Lane. That was not a corridor rehab. It was a small paving project. This is the first time that we have had them on a big project. He is ahead of schedule.”
Chambers stated the original completion date was to be around the middle of December, but it looks like it will now be completed in October.
All completed work has passed inspection.
McMahon Contracting is also working on Overhill Drive, Greenbrier Street, Olive Street and Cedar Street. Work started a month ago and includes water and sewer lines, storm drainage work, sidewalk repair and the addition of street lighting.
The cost of the project is $2.05 million.
“He is ahead of schedule, not quite as much as Stadium Drive, and the quality of the work so far is good,” Chambers said. “June of 2018 completion is what the plans showed. Right now if he keeps moving on this track, it could be April.”
Chambers said there are seven projects under design with two being close to release for construction. These projects include Alexander, Cynisca, East University, Hawkins, Royal and Indian Trace Lane.
“It is the full length of Alexander from Kirksey Street to the end of Alexander Street. It (the design) is very near completion. We hope to be advertising it for bids in maybe two weeks. It is a corridor restoration,” Chambers explained. “Next one under design is Cynisca. It is from Marvin to Sycamore. It is a corridor restoration. It is under design and maybe in two or three weeks, give or take a week, will put it out for bid. East University from Marvin to John Arden is also under design and is still ways out.”
Chambers explained these streets are looking to start in the new fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1.
These streets have a total estimated cost of $9.35 million.
Chambers advises residents to be aware of where they are driving and keep an eye out for workers and equipment.
“The biggest thing is a real common sense thing — when you are in those construction zones, drive as slow as you can, observe the construction warning signs and if they can avoid those areas avoid it."