Morriss Road expansion may be in town’s budget

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Morriss Road in Flower Mound.

In anticipation of the public hearings to consider the town’s annual budget for the Oct. 1, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018 fiscal year, Flower Mound staff and Town Council members met this past weekend to discuss priorities and updated information.

Among many Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) discussed was an update on the possible expansion of Morriss Road to six-lanes, coinciding with scheduled road maintenance work.

“We already know that there are many [concrete road] panels that need replacing,” said Assistant Town Manager Tommy Dalton, during an interview. “In addition, a 20-inch water line, south of [FM] 407 needs to be replaced with either a 24- or 30-inch line, as well as a section in the Forest Vista area needs to have a water line replaced, but in the same size.”

These Morriss Road projects are existing issues needing to be addressed; expanding the road to six-lanes at the same time to avoid paying twice for re-doing the scheduled sections is up for deliberation.

The last time the expansion of Morriss Road was discussed seriously was back during the initial phases of The River Walk. The expansion to six-lanes involves the grassy, treed center boulevard in the center of Morriss Road.

Since then, hundreds of residential units have been built in The River Walk and occupancy rates are rising. In addition, the amphitheater, retail, restaurant, plus the wedding chapel and reception hall buildings have infrastructure finished and have either already broken ground, or will soon.

Expecting the already-congested six-lane FM 2499 north-south artery to handle the future River Walk commercial and residential additional traffic safely is questionable.

“It’s an engineering issue and a logistic issue for the [town] staff,” said Town Manager Jimmy Stathatos. “It may be a political issue for some and for others it’s an emotional issue; and, we [staff] realize that. For us, it’s a traffic- and driver-safety issue.”

Public meetings for the proposed town budget fiscal year that runs from Oct. 1, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018 are scheduled during the Aug. 21 and Sept. 18 Town Council meetings.

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