Post Number: 3
|Posted on Thursday, April 26, 2007 - 10:56 am: |
What is the status of FM2934? Traffic is increasing due to Wal Mart, and Target is coming. Eastbound traffic needing to make left turns at Teel is causing major backups all the way to FM423.
I thought construction was supposed to have been started?
Cissy Sylo, Director of Engineering Serv
Post Number: 69
|Posted on Monday, April 30, 2007 - 11:58 am: |
Since FM 2934 is owned by TxDOT and is being funded by federal funding, it is required to follow federal processes to in order to qualify for this funding. This includes completing an Environmental Assessment. The FM 2934 Environmental Assessment (EA) was started in November 2000. We did not receive final federal approval of the EA until December 2006. Each time the EA was submitted for review, there were comments and new requirements that had to be met. Both TxDOT and City officials will tell you that it was a very frustrating process for all of us. Each time we thought the comments were addressed, new comments would appear or new rules (mostly federal) were passed that we were required to adhere to. Completion of the EA is a critical milestone because under TxDOT rules right-of-way acquisition cannot begin until it is approved. As long as the road still belongs to TxDOT, they (as well as Frisco) must follow their procedural rules.
The engineering design started in July 2002 and has essentially been complete for about 1 year. However, since the EA was not accepted/approved, right-of-way acquisition was unable to take place. Adding even more time to the project is the fact that utility companies cannot relocate their lines until the new right-of-way is acquired that will give them the room necessary to move their lines. Once ALL the right-of-way AND ALL the utilities are all relocated - TxDOT will begin construction. We have been meeting with the utility companies in advance sharing the plans with them so they can already be designing their relocations.
Hence - here we are still waiting on it to get started. Early schedules had construction starting in late 2004 or early 2005. Many decisions involving development along Eldorado made in 2001/2002/2003 were made with the expectation that Eldorado construction would begin as scheduled. Making changes to the Eldorado plans now is also a catch 22. If decisions are made to alter the design of Eldorado, it would delay approval of the design and then delay the construction. All indications at that time were that the project design and EA approval were still on schedule.
When Walmart started going through the approval process, we ran into the same issue. Do you make improvements now that may only be open for 6 months or less and could possibly delay the start of the Eldorado construction - or do you set up an incentive in the TxDOT plans to get the permanent improvements on Eldorado adjacent to Walmart completed early? We chose the incentive route. At the time that decision was made, Eldorado was to begin construction in April 2006.
You can see that there were several decisions made along the way based on when construction was going to begin. All decisions made were done with the intent of keeping the job moving as fast as possible and making wise use of taxpayer money.
One item we are working on now is getting Panther Creek extended from Teel to Dallas Parkway. This was originally scheduled to occur with development or as part of our bond program in future years. We have now moved that project into this year's bond program and moved some other projects out. We expect construction of Panther Creek to be finished by summer or early fall of 2008. This project will make Panther Creek 4-lanes from Teel to Dallas Parkway. It will also include signals at Teel/Panther Creek, Legacy/Panther Creek, and Dallas Parkway/Panther Creek. This will provide residents north of Eldorado a viable alternative to avoid Eldorado through the construction process. We are also designing the extension of Legacy to Panther Creek to allow another north-south connection between Eldorado and Panther Creek. Residents south of Eldorado who must use Eldorado should also benefit because of the reduced traffic volumes on Eldorado.
As the Target is getting constructed at Legacy, the developer will be adding turn lanes along Eldorado at Legacy. We are going to be able to use these turn lanes longer through the construction process than what we would have had at Teel/Eldorado and near the Walmart. We were also able to work with TxDOT on these improvements in such a way that it wouldn't delay approval of the final design plans.
The DNT extension to US 380 will be complete by this September. We expect that will reduce some of the volume on Eldorado due to citizens who live north and west of the FM 423/US 380 area because we expect them to start using the DNT instead of FM 423/Eldorado.
Citizens often ask staff why doesn't the City build Eldorado itself? Eldorado from FM 423 to Dallas Parkway was not taken "off system" due to the cost of construction. The cost to widen Eldorado today stands at about 25 million dollars (much more expensive than TxDOT expected in 2000). The bond program approved by voters in 2003 only had $75 million in it to be used across the city for 32 road projects and 19 traffic signals. How do you spend 1/3 of that money on one roadway when it can build several others that are also needed? The $75 million of bond money was spent over three years. In 2006, voters approved $100 million in bonds for roads and signal construction. Of that $100 million, about $30 million was sold last year and about $18 to 20 million will be sold this summer. Also factored into the decision not to take Eldorado off system was the fact that we had already committed $10 million dollars to TxDOT to supplement their funding for the remaining portions of Preston and Custer reconstruction projects.
Right now we can only ask for your continued patience as we work with TxDOT to get this road built. We will work diligently to complete construction of Panther Creek Parkway to provide some relief to that area of Frisco within about 1 year. Building a road completely under city control is usually more predictable. Construction of Panther Creek will also be able to happen much more quickly since it is not an existing roadway where we have to maintain traffic through construction.
Post Number: 13
|Posted on Friday, May 11, 2007 - 02:40 pm: |
You mention Panther Creek from Teel to the Dallas Pkwy. What About Panther Creek from the Dallas Parkway to Preston?? That would help alleviate a bunch of traffic problems on Preston, especially once all of the new access roads finally open up on the Dallas Parkway. Right now that is a 1 lane gravel road that does not quite go all the way through.
Cissy Sylo, Director of Engineering Serv
Post Number: 70
|Posted on Monday, May 14, 2007 - 10:49 am: |
At this time, the City has requested funding for Panther Creek from the Dallas Parkway to Preston from the Collin County Bond Committee. We have also requested funding for other projects as well that are important to providing mobility to the city and county. The Committee is currently prioritizing many requests for funding across the county.