Preliminary engineering work is set to begin for street and drainage improvements in West University Place.

The city of West University Place has contracted with Cobb, Fendley & Associates Inc. for $1.05 million to begin work Feb. 3. The firm will conduct the initial phase of surveying and geotechnical analysis on the west side of the city, according to the city.

Work will begin on Community Drive and will move east toward Auden Street over the next three months.

The phase is part of a larger effort by the city to meet the minimum standard for a two-year storm design across its roads and drainage infrastructure, which includes improvements on the city’s east and west sides. That two-year standard would mean a storm system like West U's would be able to handle a rain event capable of dumping 2.25 inches of rainfall over a 60-minute timeframe, as defined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

It follows a hydraulic model study presented to City Council in July 2020 that outlined the areas that needed improvement.

The size of the project requires two pre-engineering efforts on each side of the city. In addition to Cobb, Fendley & Associates, the council approved a $365,000 contract Dec. 14 with HDR Engineering to oversee the city’s east side.

The engineering report on the east side is expected to be finalized by July; a report on the west side will not be completed until October.

Design work will follow the report’s completion, with construction following that. Should the project remain on schedule, the city will not consider construction until the end of 2022.