County handing over reins of road project

first_img Facebook Twitter WhatsApp WhatsApp Twitter Local News Pinterest Facebookcenter_img By Digital AIM Web Support – February 24, 2021 County handing over reins of road project TAGS  Previous article041619_OHS_LEE_03Next article043019_Peaceful_Protest_JF_03 Digital AIM Web Support Pinterest Ector County is looking at widening 56th Street near Compass Academy Charter School because of increased traffic. Ector County Commissioners are tying up loose ends on the 56th Street widening project after the City of Odessa annexed the area into the city earlier this year. The former county street was located in Precinct 2 and was in the process of being widened to accommodate school traffic near Compass Academy Charter School on Billy Hext Road. Highways and Streets Director Evans Kessey said county officials were told by parents of Compass students that they were having trouble dropping their children off at school. Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis said his office would often receive calls about the traffic. Kessey said development in the area is increasing, which is generating some congestion. Compass Academy has more than 1,100 students spanning grades kindergarten through ninth and the school anticipates more growth in coming years. “We have a lot of parents that are dropping off their kids,” Jason Inman, Compass Academy middle school principal, said. “We don’t do any bus service so every parent has to basically bring their kids in and drop them off and there’s quite a bit of traffic in the mornings that’s for sure. Commissioners previously approved surveying and engineering services for the pavement widening project at a cost of $98,600 and the awarded contract amount was $731,863. Thus far, the county has invested about $94,350 into the widening project. Kessey said the City benefits by not having to pay for extra engineering services that the county had already completed, but they would absorb the remaining costs such as service fees associated with utility relocation. He said the widening project was flagged as a high priority for the county but he discovered in a meeting with city officials following the annexation that it ranked much lower on their list. Kessey said there is a possibility that the project will not come to fruition. The Court passed a motion Tuesday that no further work on 56th Street would be authorized by the county. Precinct 2 Commissioner Greg Simmons said the contract with construction company Reece Albert would be held in place until the City decides if they want to take over the contract. He said the public is expecting 56th Street to be widened. “We intend that the impact of traffic will be greater,” City Manager Michael Marrero said, “and from a traffic control standpoint that’s an area that we see a lot of activity and one we hope to focus on in the future. The road is now annexed so we think the long-term benefit of that is greater maintenance of that road that is in a developing, growing area.”last_img read more