College Station leaders are looking into pursuing road improvements, including separated bike lanes along George Bush Drive and a shared-use path project on Harvey Mitchell Parkway.
At their last meeting in May, council members voted unanimously to authorize grant applications to the Texas Department of Transportation for the projects. If received, the grant will cover 80% of construction costs. The city would be responsible for 20% of construction costs and 100% of design costs. The funds would be for fiscal year 2023 or 2024. The city will be notified if it received the grants by October.
The separated bike lanes project would add a short vertical barrier on each side of George Bush Drive from Wellborn Road to Texas Avenue to protect riders, at an estimated cost of $1.4 million, with the city’s portion being about $515,000.
Venessa Garza, bicycle, pedestrian & greenways planning administrator, said the vertical barrier would be similar to a curb, made of concrete and no more than six-inches high. The project is one that could be expanded upon in the future.
“I think it is a terrific model,” Councilman John Crompton said of the project. “We’ve been trying to do it for a long time.”
Local bicycle shop owner Robert Rose spoke at the meeting to say he thinks officials should also look into creating covered bike lanes that would provide riders with protection from the sun and rain.
If grant money is received from TxDOT, the Harvey Mitchell Parkway shared-use path project would cover nearly half a mile on the south side of Harvey Mitchell from the Jones Crossing development to the Larry J. Ringer Public Library.
The path would be 12 feet wide with an estimated cost of $615,000. The city’s portion of the project would be $225,000.
Similar to the bike lane project, the shared-use path could be expanded in the future, stretching toward the east.
Crompton said there is a lack of landscaping along the potential path, and asked that city staff look into finding a way to plant trees for shade.
The council also unanimously approved an agreement with Union Pacific Railroad to reconstruct and widen the Rock Prairie railroad crossing and widen Rock Prairie Road to Holleman Drive. Assistant Director of Capital Projects Emily Fisher said city staff will present the construction contract to the council for approval in the coming months. The project is expected to take about a year to complete.
The council also prohibited U-turns on Nueces Drive by Harvey Mitchell Parkway.
To view the meeting presentations, visit blog.cstx.gov.