Thursday, December 2, 2021

City to replace dangerous section of Hickory Creek Road with bridge

The city of Denton will soon begin work on a large bridge project to replace a windy, deadly portion of Hickory Creek Road in south Denton.

In January 2019, two teen brothers — Diego and Daniel Rivera — died in a crash on the road between Teasley Lane and FM 1830 in far south Denton. That section of the road has multiple sharp turns, and soon after, city and county officials approved several new safety measures to help prevent more deadly crashes.

Those new safety provisions were just a temporary solution, though, as the city has been planning to construct a long, straight four-lane divided-roadway bridge just south of the road to replace the dangerous section with a safer option that can handle more capacity.

“This project has been planned for several years, almost a decade,” said Rachel Wood, Denton’s deputy director of capital projects. “It’s a high-growth area, and we knew there would be a need for additional capacity.”

The city is close to wrapping up the first two phases of the Hickory Creek Road project, just east of the future bridge. Crews have turned the two-lane street into a four-lane divided road from Teasley Lane to River Pass Drive.

The future 3/4-mile bridge will cross over the railroad tracks — eliminating the crossing — and continue straight east/west and connect to Hilltop Road, just east of FM 1830. Much of the land is in a flood plain, so the bridge will prevent flooding concerns, said Dustin Draper, project manager.

Wood said the city is currently working to acquire the land it needs at a fair market value. If they reach an impasse with any of the property owners, the city can use eminent domain as a last resort, as the City Council just approved last week. No structures will have to be removed from the land the city needs. The project is estimated to cost about $38 million; about $10 million will come from regional toll revenue, while most of the remaining cost will come from a bond program that voters approved in 2019. The two-year project is expected to let for construction bids in early 2022, with construction beginning in the spring.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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