Construction in and around the new Washington County Engineering and Development Services facility is nearing completion.

Crews with Collier Construction were out this (Friday) morning on Highway 36 North near the entrance to the facility pouring cement for two new deceleration lanes for vehicles to enter the facility.  The lanes are required by TxDOT both in order to obtain driveway access permits and as a safety improvement for the site.

Workers onsite said after cement work is completed, they will move on to striping the new lanes next week.  County Engineer Ross McCall said Collier Construction is coordinating with TxDOT on the lanes, which he expects will be complete in the coming weeks.

According to McCall, the new Engineering and Development Services building has been completed, and office staff have relocated to the new facility from the current location on East Blue Bell Road.  Pending completion of the setup of fuel and asphalt tanks, shop and road maintenance operations will be shifted to the new location.

Washington County Commissioners in November of 2018 approved a $4,081,000 bid with Collier Construction for the building of the new facility.  The county later accepted Collier’s bid of $344,000 to perform soil stabilization at the site of the facility.

The new building will house multiple departments, including Road and Bridge, Environmental Health, and Addressing, in addition to Geographic Information System (GIS) and development planning support services.

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  1. Hold on. Addition of deceleration lanes for improved safety? I thought one of the main reasons to move out to that flood plan site was because it would be safer and easier for the county trucks to get in and out of this new location, which is within the 70 mph SH 36 speed limit as opposed to the 45 mph speed limit at its current location on FM 577?? Another additional expense because I doubt access was looked into prior to buying the site.

    1. I’m more worried about those trucks making the left hand turn out of the driveway across 4 lanes of 70 mph traffic to head south on 36.

      1. Now we also know why the second entrance was purchased. The deceleration lane extends to the second entrance ( which was supposedly for the public) because there is no way those big trucks can slow down in time going downhill after the bridge to make the turn at the first entrance.

      2. A local resident I had talked with approached TXDoT to do a traffic survey in that area in hopes of keeping the speed limit 60 mph until the intersection just above the two gas stations farther out. He was told that only the county commissioner for the area could really effectively make that request. He called Kirk Hanath and he fully agreed that the speed might be lowered for safety, but would only add a few seconds to the total drive time. Commissioner Hanath put the request in. TXDoT obviously did their survey (??) and felt that 70 miles an hour at the entrance to the new facility is a safe speed. I have noticed that many people going south on 36 are still driving 70 miles an hour all the way through the light at North Park Street and around the loop.

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