Sam Houston repairs finally on tap for fall
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We were delighted to see that the Sam Houston Drive project is finally going to start in the next couple of months. And the great news is that it will be $4 million cheaper and only take 22 months instead of three years.
Sam Houston Drive has been the focus of many residents as the worst primary street in Victoria. We can expect a lot of satisfied residents once this street is renovated.
Lynn Short, the city's public works director, said cheaper construction costs is what drove the price down from the original estimate of $22 million. And the cheaper construction costs are because of a poor economy.
"It's well below what we estimated," Short said.
The faster construction time has to do with the contractor, Short added.
"I think that this contractor has agreed to deploy a larger number of workers to get it done faster," Short said.
He noted that contractors are happy to finish a job faster because of other job obligations. And we are happy because we do not have to endure construction zones on Sam Houston Drive nearly as long as expected.
Short also said the contractor - SER Construction Partners Ltd. of Pasadena - plans on setting up a concrete plant for the project, and this also speeds up construction because it can get concrete as soon as it needs it.
Short promised businesses that he would make sure one driveway would remain clear for customers' access during the project. We know businesses along Sam Houston Drive will be challenged during construction time, and we encourage residents to make an extra effort to support these businesses during this period.
We were also glad to hear of the plans to make intersections 90 degrees for safety. Some intersections are at sharp angles, making it difficult to see and presenting a traffic hazard.
Another benefit is making the road concrete rather than asphalt. A concrete Sam Houston Drive will last 50 years, 30 years longer than one made of asphalt.
This is wise planning that will save taxpayer dollars in the future.
Sam Houston Drive is one more piece of Victoria's street renovation plans. And it is an important one for all of us. We applaud the city and its work to fix our streets.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.