AGREEMENT PAVES WAY FOR SIX-LANE SH 26
The Colleyville City Council has made it official. SH 26/Colleyville Boulevard will be reconstructed as a six-lane roadway. The project’s scope allows for reconstruction from south of John McCain Road (where Phase I construction ends) to Brown Trail, and includes realigning Tinker Road and Oak Pointe Drive into a single signalized intersection. Road construction could start in late 2015 or early 2016.
The final decision to add two additional lanes to the planned four-lane project in a single phase was made possible by an agreement between the city of Colleyville, the North Central Texas Council of Government’s (NCTCOG) Regional Transportation Council, and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). Almost $4 million dollars in additional funding to construct those lanes will be provided by the NCTCOG. The city will provide an additional $1 million and Tarrant County officials have agreed to pay the remaining $1 million. Costs associated with redesigning the road from a four-lane to a six-lane configuration will be absorbed by the city.
Funding for the city’s costs will come from the TIF (Tax Increment Finance district). TIF districts are designed as financing vehicles for cities and TIF partners to pay for roads and other infrastructure. The original Colleyville TIF, one of the largest and most successful in the state, encompasses much of Colleyville Boulevard and is primarily derived from the incremental property tax on commercial properties along that corridor.
Phasing of the project, which means determining the order of construction, is not anticipated to be done until sometime this summer. This is a TxDOT project, so the agency is responsible for determining the project’s phasing.
The City Council also approved TxDOT’s turn-back funding option, called turn-back because it “turns back control of the road to the city.” Once reconstruction is completed, TxDOT will take SH 26 “off line” and the city will assume control of this section of the road, including decisions about speed limits, traffic lights, and street lighting.
The turn-back funding option allows reconstruction of SH 26 through most of Colleyville. Any reconstruction south of Brown Trail would necessitate coordination and shared funding responsibilities with Hurst, since the road traverses between the two cities.
Citing safety concerns, TxDOT requires that center medians will be constructed as part of the project. According to TxDOT, all new projects with 20,000 or more vehicles per day require medians and note that medians improve safety and reduce overall crashes, including head-on collisions, by at least 40%. Any median landscaping will be done with drought resistant plants, using only drip irrigation as required by TxDOT. View the Colleyville Landscape Branding Manual.
The SH 26/Colleyville Boulevard project has been on the NCTCOG’s Transportation Improvement Plan for more than a decade. While it began as a six-lane project back in 1999, lack of funds at the state and federal levels, coupled with lower than anticipated traffic counts, brought about the decision to change to a four-lane configuration in 2013. However, concerns about mounting traffic congestion and inconvenience to both residents and businesses if a second phase of construction were ever warranted, led to city leaders and staff working with state, county, and regional agencies on an agreement to allow six lanes of construction in a single phase.