The Round Rock City Council unanimously approved a $2.9 million contract Feb. 9 for reconstruction work for streets near La Frontera shopping center that, according to city staff, will enhance safety and mobility.

Streets along Hester's Crossing Road from Dry Creek Drive to County Road 172; La Frontera Boulevard from Hester's Crossing Road to Toll 45; and the intersection of Sundance Parkway and Kouri Drive show failures of heaving and depressions in areas where underground utilities and infrastructure exist, according to city transportation staff.

The primary problem with the roads, Round Rock Transportation Director Gary Hudder said, is the type of soil in that part of the city. The clay soil, in addition to underground springs in that area, have caused the soil to move.

The changing and extreme weather conditions, he said, over the last two years have made the problem worse.

The streets were approved for construction in March 1999 as part of the La Frontera Development project.

Hudder said staff hopes to have the reconstruction work completed in October, just in time for the holiday shopping season.

Councilman Craig Morgan, who was not on the council when the projects were approved in 1999, had some lingering concerns at the council meeting about the roads needing repair work done at this point in time.

"Do we have any assurances in this contract that this road is going to last longer than 10 years? What recourse do we have if it fails?" he asked.

Hudder said the contract with RGM Constructors of Texas has a two-year warranty and that city staff are working to identify what has gone wrong before.

"There is failure along the storm sewer line. Those will all be moved and replaced," Hudder said. "In medians, there has been some high water and there has been saturation of irrigation water."

There are also plans to restructure small concrete walls under the roads' curve and gutter sections to keep moisture out and ensure that anything on the road goes into the storm sewer appropriately, he said.

The project will be paid for with Type B funds that cover the city's road construction and road improvement projects.