CORINTH — City officials in Corinth expect to begin soliciting bids soon for a road extension project that council members say is important to the city’s future development and mobility.
During recent budget workshops, the City Council agreed to amend the 2013-14 Capital Improvement Plan by designating unreserved funds in the city’s Governmental Capital Fund for the Lake Sharon Drive extension project.
City officials plan to extend Lake Sharon westward to connect to FM2499, which state transportation officials plan to extend toward Interstate 35E.
Public Works director Justin Brown said he expects the bidding and design process for Lake Sharon to take about a year and construction to take another nine months.
The City Council allocated more than $1.5 million in the city’s budget toward the project, which officials estimate will cost about $3 million.
Interim City Manager Jim Berzina said the city will not have to issue any debt to pay for the project, which will be helped out by Denton County’s commitment of about $300,000.
The work will include design, right of way acquisition and the construction of a four-lane divided thoroughfare with a storm sewer system and sidewalks.
Currently, FM2499 runs from State Highway 121 near Grapevine to Swisher Road in Corinth. State officials plan to extend FM2499 about three miles from Swisher through Corinth and on to I-35E.
The extension of FM2499 and Lake Sharon Drive will alleviate traffic congestion and give residents easier access to other parts of the city, officials said.
During a council meeting last week, Mayor Paul Ruggiere told council members that he supported the project. And because of the project’s potential effect on the city, he encouraged the council to support it, too.
“This road is very important to our economic development and mobility plan,” he said. “Mobility is very important to every city.”
There is currently no set date for completion of the FM2499 extension in Corinth, but some officials estimate that it will be completed sometime in 2017. Lake Sharon Drive is expected to be completed at about the same time.
Brown said construction could go more quickly than most expect.
“There isn’t traffic we have to worry about when extending a road,” he said. “Without any traffic delays, we’re probably looking at a shorter construction timeline.”
Accoring to a state study and Brown, the FM2499 extension is estimated to cost the state about $31.8 million.
A North Central Texas Council of Governments study of the FM2499 project stated that it has the opportunity to positively affect transportation patterns, particularly in the western areas of Corinth.
The roadway will serve as a major north-to-south regional arterial and will help alleviate traffic congestion on Post Oak Drive, particularly at the I-35E intersection, according to the study.
The study also states that because of Corinth and the Lake Cities’ proximity to Lewisville Lake, they have limited arterial capabilities and connections. For this reason, the two major arterials, FM2181 and FM2499, serve as important focal points for design, traffic management and land use, the study reported.
The FM2499 extension project near Corinth is the fifth phase of a project that’s set to improve the road, which begins in Grapevine. The state seeks to expand the road, adding additional lanes and bridges in Grapvine in an effort to alleviate traffic congestion and to give motorists an alternative route separate from I-35E.
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @JDHarden.