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Brazos County construction heats up for summer

From The Battalion

By Julie Rambin

Published: Monday, June 22, 2009

Roadway construction is underway in Aggieland.

In College Station, Barron Road from State Highway (SH) 6 to Decatur Drive will be under construction until Fall 2009, and the intersections of Barron & Longmire and Barron & Decatur will be closed. William D. Fitch Parkway from Pebble Creek Parkway to Rock Prairie Road will be under construction until February 2010, and the intersection of William D. Fitch and Rock Prairie will be closed temporarily.

"The timing of those closures is dependent on the pace and progress of the contractor," said City of College Station capital projects director Charles Gilman. "It's just not feasible to identify a closure today that will be needed 3 months from now."

A prominent project in College Station is the College Parks Breezy Heights Neighborhood Rehabilitation project, close to the south side of the Texas A&M campus. The project will include pavement replacement, Gilman said.

"The construction activities in this neighborhood could impact some of the on-street parking used by citizens and visitors attending football games at Kyle [Field]," Gilman said.

In Bryan, Beck Street and Old Reliance Road are under construction. Beck Street is being extended from Palasota Drive to FM 2818. Old Reliance Road will be widened, and the intersection of Austin's Colony Parkway and Old Reliance Road will be closed beginning June 24.

"The first part of construction will include replacement of the existing utility lines," said City of Bryan civil engineer Susan Monnat. "Once all utilities are in place, the pavement reconstruction will occur."

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is currently working on the interchange of SH 6 and Rock Prairie Road, the widening of Wellborn Road from Southwest Parkway to Capstone Drive, and the construction of a new overpass at the intersection of Wellborn Road and FM 2818. SH 6, from Peach Creek Road to the Navasota River, will also be widened. Other TxDOT projects slated to begin this summer include the construction of a new freeway overpass on SH 6 at Barron Road and the resurfacing of parts of SH 21, FM 60, and FM 1179.

On campus, Ross Street will be closed for continuing repair, and Joe Routt Blvd. and Clark Street will close before the start of the fall semester for the MSC renovation project, said Texas A&M University Transportation Services communications manager June Broughton.

"There are fewer students and employees on campus during the summer," Broughton said. "We try to schedule these projects during times when our customers are least impacted."

In Bryan and College Station, however, construction schedules are not entirely dependent upon the season, Monnat said.

"The summer time release for this project is not significant," Monnat said. "Summer does typically have dryer weather, which helps because construction is less likely to be rained out each day."

The dearth of students in town did not affect the timing of construction, said City of College Station public communications director Wayne Larson.

"There's a lot of factors that go along with designing and building roads other than the time of the year," Larson said. "We simply can't say, 'okay, we're going to do this road during the summer because the students aren't here.'"

In construction zones, students should remember to watch out for slow-moving construction vehicles, said sergeant Todd Van Dresar of the College Station Police Department.

"I know they've pulled out in front of me," Dresar said. "You kind of have to be on the defensive there."

Students should also be careful to obey the speed limit to avoid a citation. Dresar said.

"The construction zones usually have a speed limit posted," Dresar said. "That speed limit is in effect whether it's 2 o'clock in the afternoon or 2 o'clock in the morning."

For construction updates visit these websites: cstx.gov, bryantx.gov, and transport.tamu.edu.

Construction sites
1 Overpass at the intersection of Wellborn Road and FM 2818.

2 Interchange of State Highway 6 and Rock Prairie Road.

3 Widening of State Highway 6 from Peach Creek Road to the Navasota River.

4 Widening of Wellborn Road from 0.4 miles south of FM 2818 to 0.6 miles south of State Highway 40.

http://www.thebatt.com/2.8485/brazos-county-construction-heats-up-for-summer-1.1182032