Humble City Council approved a contractor for the long-awaited Rankin Road improvement project at its Sept. 24 council meeting. Angel Brothers Enterprises was the lowest of five bidders, with the company's contract approved at almost $2.65 million.

Humble City Manager Jason Stuebe said the project has been years in the making. Most recently, it was postponed from the fiscal year 2019-20 budget to the FY 2020-21 budget due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The project will sightly widen and repave the roadway between Union Pacific Corp. railroad and South Houston Avenue. The project will also include installing a new storm sewer, replacing the existing water line and installing a pedestrian bridge on the south side of the road running across Garner Bayou, according to city officials.

Humble Mayor Merle Aaron said the pedestrian bridge will greatly help students walking along Rankin Road from Jack Fields Sr. Elementary School.

"It'll keep those kids from having to walk close to the road," Aaron said.

Stuebe said the project will likely begin in November and will take six to eight months to complete. Combined with the design and engineering costs, the project will cost roughly $3.65 million in total, he said.

However, Council Member David Pierce said during the meeting that he was "not impressed" with the work Angel Brothers Enterprises did on the city's Wilson Road expansion in 2013. He advised that Humble Public Works and the city keep an eye on the project as it moves forward.

"If you drive north on Wilson Road from Atascocita [Road] to Will Clayton [Parkway], you cannot drive in a straight line without hitting a manhole, ... and it's been that way since they constructed it," he said.

Aaron said he has talked with Public Works about getting the manholes fixed, which he said he believes happened due to a drainage issue under the road.

Recently, the city and real estate company Jackson-Shaw Development finished expanding a different portion of Rankin Road on July 24. The separate project, which cost $800,000, expanded Rankin Road from two to four lanes between Hwy. 59 and the Union Pacific Corp. railroad tracks in Humble.