City Council members want more information and public input before deciding how to fund the remaining work on Texas 26/Colleyville Boulevard.
The city held a work session on the reconstruction project with its partners, the Texas Department of Transportation and the North Central Texas Council of Governments. The council must decide how they want to fund the road from John McCain Road to Hall-Johnson Road.
Public Works Director Bob Lowry presented two possible funding options. The city could front the $12 million cost, which TxDOT will reimburse 80 percent, or $9.6 million. Overall, the city’s net cost would be an estimated $7.06 million, which includes debt costs and enhancements like street lighting, back-lit street signs, sidewalks and more.
The city would pay for the project with TIF funding, monies from Tarrant County and $9.4 million of debt.
TxDOT would reimburse the city once the roadway is opened to the public at a minimum of $436,000 per year and a maximum of $872,000 per year.
Mayor David Kelly has said in order to complete state-owned roads, municipalities are having to pay some of the costs.
The other option is to have TxDOT fund the reconstruction from John McCain to Brown Trail, not including additional amenities, and the city would then take control of the road including its future costs for road and signal maintenance, and any future reconstruction.
Ownership would allow the city to have more control of the road including speed limits, street lighting and the location of new traffic signals.
“I’d like more info to ponder these different choices,” Council member Carol Wollin said. “We have that forum scheduled for Nov. 12, I would like to hear what citizens think.”
The reconstruction of Texas 26 from John McCain to Brown Trail will remain at four lanes, but with a wide median. When traffic counts warrant an expansion, the median will be reduce and the road will have six lanes. COG Transportation Director Michael Morris said traffic analysis shows that may not be necessary until 2030.
Councilman Chuck Mogged said he prefers to avoid debt, but would not want to own the road without some form of aid to expand the road at a future date. He said with Colleyville being 90 percent built out, any major increases in traffic would come from outside the city.
“From a fairness standpoint, it’s hard for us to go to our citizens and say you’re on the hook if the region grows,” he said. “When it’s justified, can you then pick up that lane expansion at the regional costs, not just out of Colleyville but the folks also driving the higher use of the road?”
Morris said if the Council is interested in assuming ownership of 26, he would work with the Regional Transportation Council, but added that he cannot “handcuff” any future Council.
Residents will have a chance to share their thoughts on the roadway and financing at a public forum on Nov. 12 at First Baptist Colleyville.
TxDOT plans to begin construction on Texas 26 through the city’s main business corridor — Hall-Johnson to Brown Trail — in December. TxDOT district engineer Brian Barth said he expects that portion, which is already funded, to take about two and a half years.
When council asked how he anticipates completing that portion in the same amount of time that it took to complete the delayed and on-going work from Texas 114 to Brumlow/Pool, Barth said, “We do it right.”
Barth said TxDOT plans to have the construction’s first phase substantially completed by March 31.