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FM 407 widening in full swing

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The FM 407 widening project for the stretch of highway between Chinn Chapel Road and FM 1830 is underway and apparently on schedule as planned.

Crews broke ground on March 1, and Chris Hocate, Project Manager for Lochner, the projects planner, said although the work only recently begun, things are going as they should be.

“They’re clearing land right now,” said Hocate. “We’re pretty much on schedule.”

When completed, FM 407 from FM 1830 to Rayzor Rd. and from Lantana Trail to Chinn Chapel will match the urban four-lane divided configuration of the completed Lantana Curve section under the Lantana water tower.

The section west of Lantana will also be rerouted to take two sharp curves out, and the intersection of FM 407 and FM 1830 will be reconfigured.

The project is scheduled to last approximately two years, and is broken down into four phases.

The first phase involves building two new lanes west of the original roadway over the Loving Branch Culvert (between Rayzor Rd. and Bartonville Town Center), and south of the culvert on the Double Oak side, east of Lantana. After completion, traffic will be moved to the widened sections.

The first phase should take three to four months to complete.

Phase II will consist of constructing two new lanes of the roadway on the east (Lantana) side of the current road for the north-south section of FM 407, and a new two lane section on the north (Lantana/Copper Canyon) side for the east-west section.

Upon completion of Phase II, traffic will be moved to the new sections.

Phase III involves the rebuilding of the west (Bartonville) side of the road for the north-south section and south (Double Oak) side for the east-west section.

Traffic signals and final pavement marking and signs will also be installed and completed during this phase.  Phases II and III are estimated to take between 8-10 months each.

The final phase, which should last two to three weeks, includes removal of traffic barricades and the final clean up for the project.

At this time, there are no official plans for new traffic signals along the widened section of FM 407, but County Commissioner Andy Eads said that he is working with Lantana officials and TxDOT to explore the possibility of future signalized intersections on the west side of Lantana.

“Once the project is complete, signal studies can be performed to see if the newly constructed intersections satisfy TxDOT‘s requirements for the installation of signals,” said Eads.

Hocate said he is not aware of any major obstacles the construction crews have faced and said there is a definite time frame for the project’s completion.

“This is a TxDOT project, and it is a 24 month construction,” Hocate said. “TxDOT has a full time inspector out there, and we (Lochner) are on board to do the engineering and complete the job.”

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