Part of a drainage project in the Sugar Creek subdivision is getting expedited after Sugar Land City Council approved $824,000 for the section at the May 17 meeting.

“Accelerating the work allows the city to lock in phase one pricing and save money for taxpayers,” a city of Sugar Land press release said.

The Sugar Creek drainage project consists of two phases. The first phase, which includes 2,100 feet of storm sewer, is being executed and is 75% complete as of the May meeting. Phase 2 is planned for 2024. With the May 17 approval, a portion of the second phase is now being grouped into the timeline of Phase 1 to lock in contract rates among rising construction costs.

Both phases are being executed through Wadecon LLC, a Kingwood-based engineering firm with experience in highway, street and bridge construction. According to city officials, the reallocation for the funds is possible due to coming in under budget on the first phase: While $4.8 million was budgeted, only $3.2 million was used.

“We bid phase one in the peak of the pandemic in 2020,” City Engineer Jessie Li said. “We got a really good price. ... So we saved $1 million in phase one. ... We were able to exhaust all of the balances, all the savings we had, in Phase 1 to do a portion of Phase 2. We can reduce the future financial burden for phase two because the construction costs increased drastically from the past couple of years.”

Both phases include increasing the size of existing storm sewer pipes, outfall and inlets along with pavement replacement along Montclair Drive. The project in its entirety is budgeted for $8.8 million with $4.4 million allocated for Phase 1 and $4 million for Phase 2.

The accelerated section of Phase 2 of the project that will be accelerated to Phase 1 will encompass about 400 feet of drainage and will include the removal and replacement of the existing road; the addition of a new water line; and the addition of storm sewers, fire hydrants, water valves and other related items. The work will begin south of Wellington Lane and go to just east of Charleston South.

The rest of Phase 2 will remain on the current schedule. The funding is coming from the $90.76 million voter-approved Sugar Land general obligation bond in 2019. That bond included more than $47 million for drainage improvements, including the $8.8 Sugar Creek project.