Traffic cones, road closures and construction crews are all markers of the steps city leaders are taking to address Celina’s unprecedented growth.

Celina’s population has skyrocketed in recent years, growing more than 476% from 2010 to October 2023, according to U.S. Census data. As a city with a population under 3,000 until 2000, the uptick in residents is a catalyst for various city projects, such as road improvements.

Two-minute impact

Capital improvement projects on several major roadways and other Celina projects make up $61 million of the city’s $195 million budget for fiscal year 2023-24, which was approved by Celina City Council members on Sept. 12.

“The road improvements are No. 1,” Assistant City Manager Kim Brawner said. “That’s been the direction from council and they’ve been very adamant about that; making sure the street system is sufficient for our community.”

Approximately $35 million of the $61 million worth of capital improvement projects are roadway-specific, according to a Sept. 12 meeting.

Some of the roadway projects, especially ones city officials know residents have been waiting for, are specially listed in the budget, Brawner said.

“The [projects highlighted in the budget are] ones that we’ve received the most citizen complaints about or the ones that people are calling [about], saying, ‘When is this going to be accomplished?’” Brawner said.

For example, one highlighted project will bring necessary parking and drainage improvements to the downtown area, according to a statement from interim city manager Karla Stovall included in the budget.

Diving deeper

City leaders chose next year’s capital improvement projects with the population growth in mind, Mayor Ryan Tubbs said.

“[The projects are] definitely helping us with that growth,” Tubbs said. “Nobody wants to take a road that requires them to drive on gravel to take their kids to elementary school in the morning.”

The work on Coit Road, a major road for Celina residents, is expected to help drivers get to where they need to go faster, he said.

“It’s about wear and tear, maintenance, and also the inconvenience of having to go around [some roads],” he said.

Stay tuned

Celina’s capital improvement projects are future-focused, Brawner said.

“Most of our projects are three-, four- or five-year projects,” she said. “I’d say most of them [residents are] going to see start this [fiscal] year.”

For example, construction on Coit Road is slated to start in the next nine months, Brawner said. It is expected to take approximately 14 months to finish.

The city typically staggers its projects, so when a project is around three-fourths done, the next one on the list begins.

“People are going to be very upset with us,” Brawner said. “[They’ll say], ‘We can’t get away from construction.’”

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