Thursday, April 25, 2024

County, city enter interlocal agreement for Old Granbury Road improvements

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The Hood County Commissioners Court and the City of Granbury officially entered into a cost-sharing interlocal agreement for improvements to Old Granbury Road during a commissioners court meeting March 26.

For the past several months, both the Hood County Commissioners Court and Granbury City Council have discussed making improvements to Old Granbury Road from the U.S. Highway 377 intersection to Industrial Avenue.

“I've been on this commissioners court now for five years, and we've been talking about this ever since I've been on here,” Precinct 4 Commissioner Dave Eagle said during the Feb. 13 meeting. "We know that the 377 project is looming. We don't know when that's going to start, but it will, and even if we started something tomorrow, it would be a couple of years to get Old Granbury Road widened out and expanded where we can have some way to get around 377.”

Both the city and county have been in talks with Teague Nall and Perkins Inc. regarding the planning portion of the project.

Ryan Jones, professional engineer for TNP, spoke at the Hood County Commissioner Court meeting on Feb 13, and explained that if the company were to start now on the project, it would likely take four years to complete.

"We estimate about two years for design phase and then about two years for construction,” Jones said. “If this would be (started) in 2024, it would be in the year 2028 for construction completion.”

He explained that the city of Granbury contacted TNP in August 2023 and asked the company to perform a preliminary traffic analysis on Old Granbury Road.

"Old Granbury Road was identified as a critical corridor with the looming 377 construction and some developments occurring along the road,” Jones said. “That traffic study evaluated all of the existing configuration of Old Granbury Road and how that existing configuration, the two-lane divided roadway, would handle the projected and forecasted traffic increases that are coming in the next 5, 10, 15 years.”

The results of the preliminary analysis, Jones said, indicated that improvements are “definitely needed” on Old Granbury Road, as it is currently performing adequately with today’s traffic.

Jones also added that in the next five to 10 years, the level of service will start to degrade — especially the segment between U.S. Highway 377 and Temple Hall Highway.

“The segment between 377 and Temple Hall was really the first segment that we noticed that level of service deteriorating, and that occurred in the year 2028,” Jones said. “From there, it just kind of went downhill when we looked at the year 2033 and eventually to 2038 which is the 15-year horizon, so the results of that study indicate that improvements are definitely needed on Old Granbury Road; that's our belief, and our recommendation to the county and to the city.”

While TNP recommends that the city and county make improvements to Old Granbury Road, Jones said at this time, he is unsure what type of improvements are needed. He said while the city’s master thoroughfare plan indicates a four-lane divided highway is needed, he said some improvements that may need to be considered include turning lanes, a signalized intersection, or even a roundabout.

"All those things still need to be looked at,” Jones said. “If we were to widen the roadway to three lanes or four lanes, how much is that going to cost? So those are questions that we don't have answers for today.”

The project is estimated to cost around $50 million — but the first step needed to get the process moving was for both the city and the county to sign an interlocal agreement, which was completed March 26.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Precinct 4 Commissioner Dave Eagle told the public the city and county have been working together on this project for a few weeks.

"One of my frustrations is having to deal with government red tape. It's very frustrating,” Eagle said. “And we've got an estimate here that was originally presented for a planning session, and I kind of work from the standpoint of, ‘Look, let's just start working on it.’ We got to start with intersections, and let's just start doing something, but apparently it just doesn't work that way with government.”

Eagle explained that the interlocal agreement is between the city and county to allow TNP to perform a planning study on a four-and-a-half-mile portion of Old Granbury Road. The cost for both the preliminary study and the planning study is $241,754.72. The county will pay 60% of the cost at $145,052.83, and the city will pay 40% of the cost at $96,701.89.

"I had a long conversation this morning with Ryan Jones from TNP, and he laid it out for me again,” Eagle said. “This will get us up to where we can hopefully get this done in the next five to six months, and lead us up to where we can start working on plans, specs and estimates to actually start doing the work.”

“I would like to add that this is not a new item for any of us,” City Manager Chris Coffman said during Tuesday’s meeting. “We've been working on this since our last intergovernmental meeting, so this is hopefully the final approach to planning this and getting this project off.”

Eagle made a motion to enter into a cost-sharing interlocal agreement with the city of Granbury as provided under the Texas Government Code 791 regarding a professional services contract with Teague Nall and Perkins Inc. related to plans, specifications and estimates for improvements to Old Granbury Road from U.S. Highway 377 to Industrial Avenue in Granbury in the amount of $145,052.83 out of fund 55 for the county’s portion. The motion passed unanimously.