Sunday, September 19, 2021

Around Argyle — September 2021

As I write, our country is going through a time of trial that rivals some of the most difficult times in our history. This is a time for prayer. My family and I are praying for the safety of the men and women of our armed forces and the people who trusted the United States to protect them. We are also praying that wisdom and accountability will shape the actions of our leaders in the days ahead. We are praying for wisdom on the part of our leaders and healthcare professionals as we confront the continuing threat of COVID-19. Finally, we are praying for the recovery of those stricken by the virus and its complications. Nothing can withstand the power of a united people armed with prayer.

Status Report on 2021 Roadway Capital Improvements

Crawford Road is back in service, with just a few punch items and landscaping improvements left to fully complete the work. A ribbon cutting ceremony marked the end of the project on Sept. 9. The Town is thankful for the patience of the Citizens during the project. We are also grateful for the support of Denton County and the City of Denton, without whose financial contributions the project could not have been undertaken.

The Town is moving ahead with three remaining projects before wrapping up the 2021 Roadway Capital Improvement Program (CIP). The base course of asphalt is in progress on Harpole Road, which is being completely reconstructed from Shadow Wood Drive to S. Gibbons. A small unrated bridge on Harpole is being evaluated with the support of Denton County and the Texas Department of Transportation, but at this time we do not think replacing the bridge will extend the schedule for completing Harpole.

With Harpole finished, contractor Jagoe-Public will move on to rebuilding S. Gibbons from just south of the fire station to Frenchtown Road. Charyl Lynn Drive is also being reconstructed in parallel with the other work, which is on schedule for completion before mid-November.

2022 Roadway Capital Improvements Program

The Town Council is moving ahead with a CIP for 2022 to deal with important collector and residential roads that need to be addressed before the disruption of US 377 improvements begins late next year. Money available for municipal borrowing remains very cheap and the Town’s strong credit rating permits us to fund critical roadway improvements on highly favorable terms.

The centerpiece of the 2022 CIP will be the reconstruction of Stonecrest Road from FM 407 south to the Flower Mound town limits. Stonecrest is one of the few practical routes available for residents of Canyon Falls, the Settlement and other neighborhoods to reach their homes from the east side of the Union Pacific Railway when a train is stopped on the siding that begins north of Frenchtown Road and ends south of Canyon Falls Drive. Frequently, trains stop before the siding begins to allow a train traveling in the opposite direction to maneuver onto the siding so that the trains can pass each other. As train traffic picks up with an improving economy, motorists are increasingly finding themselves stopped on FM 1171.

A train halted for an emergency on Aug. 24, blocking FM 1171. Traffic was stopped for almost 90 minutes, with many vehicles unable to move. Drivers who were not stuck in the backup were able to reach their homes from east of the railway by using Frenchtown Road and Stonecrest.

The Texas Department of Transportation has no project planned or under study to build a bridge over the Union Pacific right of way, so the traffic interruptions on FM 1171 will continue for the foreseeable future. The reconstruction of Stonecrest Road, and potentially increasing its capacity with additional lanes, is one of the few steps that Argyle can take to mitigate the access challenges caused by normal operation of the railroad.

Taylor Road, Hickory Hill Road and East Frenchtown Road are also being considered for reconstruction under the 2022 CIP. As was the case with Crawford Road, all Argyle high-traffic roadways are being completely rebuilt starting with a cement-treated base and much thicker courses of asphalt.

Some have asked why we are not planning to replace the Town’s roads with concrete. There are two reasons. First, concrete construction would be prohibitively expensive outside of shorter residential street applications. The budget for reconstructing Crawford Road, for example, would have at least doubled if rebuilt in concrete. The amount of movement that we see in Argyle’s clay soils also creates stresses that are better addressed with more flexible asphalt construction.

Another Lone Star Cup!

The Town is once again delighted to congratulate the students and faculty of Argyle High School on winning the UIL 4A Lone Star Cup for the ninth consecutive year. The dominance of the school’s athletic, arts and academic programs statewide makes us all proud. We also congratulate the parents who stand behind and encourage the students who brought home the Cup this year.

CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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