With the first phase of the SH 26 reconstruction project finished, in March the city of Colleyville began implementing a community outreach plan for Phase 2, which will be the largest road project in city history.
Phase 2, reaching from John McCain Road to Brown Trail, is expected to begin in the spring. The Texas Department of Transportation will widen the remaining 3 1/2-mile stretch of roadway to three lanes in each direction with a raised curbed median and a dedicated turn lane.
Although Phase 1 did not have an action plan, SH 26 Project Coordinator for the city of Colleyville, James Hubbard, said because Phase 2 will run through an area in the city where most of the city’s retail and entertainment is located, an action plan is needed to help businesses transition and survive the construction.
“This portion of the project will impact many more businesses than Phase 1,” he said. “So we really wanted to have a dedicated staff resource to kind of serve as that liaison between TxDOT and the contractor and the businesses. We are going to do as much as we can to help.”
City staff said the action plan was formed after doing significant research on similar state-led projects and includes more communication and outreach than the first phase of construction.
The new plan includes 29 initiatives in three main components: communication, mobility and business support.
“One of the initiatives in the communication component is utilizing a text-message alert system,” he said. “We are still in the process of rolling out that system, but that’s something that is new—we have never offered that on any of the [transportation] projects before. The system will be subscription-based.”
Hubbard said he will not only be distributing information to the businesses fronting SH 26, but to residents as well.
“I am going to reach out to established, local clubs and organizations here in Colleyville and take information to them,” he said. “So that will include all of the homeowner associations as well as organizations like the Garden Club, Keep Colleyville Beautiful, Colleyville Woman’s Club, Lions Club and others.”
Other initiatives include weekly city staff meetings with TxDOT and the contractors; regular city meetings with business owners and employees; and a dedicated, continuously updated website—www.sh26project.com.
Mobility initiatives include special signage for business driveways obscured by construction and banners and vehicle magnets for city vehicles encouraging shopping locally.
Drivers are being encouraged to not take detours off SH 26 during construction because the city wants to encourage residents to continue supporting local businesses.
City staff estimates the 2 1/2-year plan will cost $36,350 to implement.
Phase 2 road construction will cost an estimated $33.5 million.