by Mayor Charlotte Wilcox
It has been an unusual summer here in North Texas. The spring and summer flooding put a damper on many opportunities to enjoy Lewisville Lake and our parks, caused delays in construction projects and caused significant damage to some roadways and drainage areas.
The bright side now is the flood waters are receding and we can move full swing into the fall months. Pilot Knoll Park has re-opened and the city will hold its annual family camp-out on September 19-20. We are also bringing back the fall concert series at Pilot Knoll Park. We hope you’ll join us at Pilot Knoll Park as we celebrate fall and cooler temperatures in Highland Village.
I’ve had several inquiries about the construction and improvement to Sellmeyer Lane since the project began in March 2015 and it was anticipated Sellmeyer Lane would be closed for about four months. Public input initiated improvements to the plan and the project had to go out for bid a second time.
Once re-bid, excavation of old utilities brought unforeseen complications then the spring/summer floods caused further delays for construction and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approvals. Now the contractor for the Wichita Estates subdivision is nearing completion of the improvements necessary for the paving improvements to begin.
The old alignment of Sellmeyer Lane contained a number of franchise and public utilities that needed to be relocated within the right-of-way of the proposed alignment before the actual paving operation could begin. The city’s contractor will mobilize next month to begin constructing its portion of Sellmeyer, north of the subdivision to Highland Village Road and south of the subdivision to Foggy Glen.
The city’s contractor has 240 calendar days to complete this project. The subdivision contractor will be working on their portion of Sellmeyer, adjacent to the development, during this same time frame. We now anticipate Sellmeyer Lane to be complete by summer 2016.
When we were experiencing the record flooding in Highland Village, Canyon Creek Drive failed. The existing 16 year old metal culverts located in the creek crossing under Canyon Creek Drive have exhibited metal deterioration and were failing. Erosion has been occurring around the culverts in the creek under Canyon Creek Drive causing a critical situation to public safety.
More recently, with the heavy rain events causing record flooding, the existing drainage infrastructure is exhibiting expedited failure, which has caused damage to the street pavement on Canyon Creek Drive. Consequently, the city is in the process of addressing this situation to provide for replacement drainage facilities at this location.
The Canyon Creek Drive drainage improvements project will provide for replacement culverts using longer lasting materials (such as concrete box culverts) and for repair and replacement of the damaged pavement on Canyon Creek Drive. The city has secured engineering services to design the proposed project.
It is anticipated that the design will be completed early fall, 2015. Funding the construction phase is proposed in the 2016 budget. The construction phase is anticipated to commence in late fall / early winter. For the interim, the east bound lane of Canyon Creek will remain closed to traffic as it is deemed unsafe for the traveling public to utilize. The emergency access to Longfellow Drive located in the northwest corner of the Canyon Creek Subdivision is open and available for use as a route to Highland Village Road.
If Canyon Creek Drive deteriorates further, the city may close it completely. The city will keep residents up to date on both the Sellmeyer Lane and Canyon Creek Drive projects on the city website.
Our police department is hosting the 8th Annual Fallen Heroes Bike Race and 5K Run on October 17. The race will benefit the Texas Chiefs of Police Fallen Officer Fund. The event will take place at the Shops at Highland Village.
Again this year they are partnering with the Highland Village Business Association’s Restaurant Week to showcase Highland Village restaurants. Restaurant Week will take place from October 11-17 and participating restaurants will give a portion of their sales to the Fallen Officer Fund.
I hope you’ll try a new restaurant or visit your favorite eatery and help support our local businesses and the fund. The October 17 event will include live music, children’s activities, and a chance to meet some of our race sponsors in the vendor area during the race.
The goal is to raise $25,000 for families of officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. This is the fifth year that the race will be held at the Shops at Highland Village—we anticipate a large crowd will come support the race, the Fallen Officers Fund and enjoy the entertainment.
If you have children back in school, you know the range of emotions they are experiencing. Some are eager to start the learning again. Some can’t wait to get back into the schedule and see their friends. Others may be nervous about moving up a grade or starting a new school.
As parents, your support and preparedness is of the utmost importance. You’ll want to make sure your kids are well-rested, fed and on time for their school days. I recently spoke with our school resource officers and they reminded me that back-to-school safety is everyone’s responsibility. We all need to take extra precautions to keep our kids safe.
So, as we begin the school year let’s remember to watch our speed in school zones, don’t use cell phones in a school zone, pay attention to the crosswalks and look out for kids and families walking or bicycling to school. Our officers will be out in force keeping watch and targeting enforcement on safety violations. With more and more distractions, it’s important to slow down and pay attention. Do your part and set the example!
I encourage you to look for ways to model kindness, generosity and patience for your children and those around you. Positive actions create positive reactions. Share your smile and joy with those around you.
Highland Village has always been a close-knit, family-oriented community. Let’s continue in that tradition and be the example for those around us. I hope to see you around our wonderful city and to share a smile.