Work on three major McLennan County road projects worth $32.3 million is progressing as leaders look to a mid-2019 completion date for the biggest project.

Walker Partners LLC is working to secure property needed for two of the projects and hopes to have the construction work for Speegleville Road, the biggest project, bid out in about a year.

Discussions started in 2015 on improvements to Speegleville Road, in Precinct 4, and Surrey Ridge Lane, in Precinct 1. Chapel Road, also in Precinct 4, was added to the list by early last year.

Walker Partners project manager Clark Gauer walked county commissioners through an update on the projects last week.

Commissioners already have issued a $10 million bond for the project and expect to issue another $10 million bond in the 2018 budget year, which starts Oct. 1.

The largest project is rebuilding a more than four-mile stretch of Speegleville Road from State Highway 6 to the north side of the Middle Bosque River, costing about $17.7 million. The road design supports a 35 mph to 45 mph speed limit in sections, and it will be updated to support a 60 mph limit, Gauer said.

Walker partners recently got needed environmental clearance for some of the work and expects to have the needed property for the right of way in about six months, he said. Construction for the project is projected to go to bid in summer 2018 and be done by May 2019.

About 3,000 vehicles travel that stretch daily.

Where the road crosses Hog Creek, the company is planning to build a second 200-foot bridge adjacent to the existing one.

“We’ll have the opportunity in the future to be able to build this second structure to tie into the first so in the end we have one structure,” Gauer said.

The work for Surrey Ridge Lane is expected to cost about $4.38 million.

Plans include improvements to the stretch from Interstate 35 to Farm-to-Market Road 3148, also known as Moonlight Drive. Part of the road is only designed for speeds of 20 mph, and the improvements will increase that to 45 mph, Gauer said.

The final design for Surrey Ridge Lane is about 85 percent complete, and the company is about two-thirds of the way through the right-of-way acquisition process, Gauer said. The company hopes to start the bid phase by midfall.

There are several franchise and city utilities along and adjacent to Surrey Ridge Lane, which will require some relocation, and discussion for that work is ongoing, he said.

The Chapel Road corridor is predicted to be one of the highest growth areas in the county, Walker Partners President Jed Walker has said. Proposed plans for that area would cost about $10.22 million.

Cassie L. Smith has covered county government for the Tribune-Herald since June 2014. She previously worked as a reporter for the Beaumont Enterprise and The Eagle in Bryan-College Station. Smith graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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