Oak Ridge North nears right of way acquisitions on Robinson Road

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Right of way acquisitions needed to begin Montgomery County’s diamond interchange project over I-45 between Woodlands Parkway and Robinson Road are anticipated to be completed this month.

Joe Sherwin, Oak Ridge North director of Public Works, said appraisals for land on five properties along Robinson near the interstate are expected by April 12. Final offers to property owners will follow soon after, Sherwin said, and are projected to fall within the city’s budget for the land. The council would then be able to approve the purchases, paving the way for the county to begin work on both the interchange and the eventual realignment of Robinson.

“All of the tenants have tentatively agreed to whatever we had [estimated],” Sherwin said at the Oak Ridge North City Council’s regular meeting April 8. “For a few bucks of our money, it’ll get the county going.”

Final offers could be brought before the council at its next regular meeting April 22 or, if they remain under budget, at a special council session prior to that date.

Sherwin also said the city does not plan to replace water and sewer lines that run within the project zone, opting instead to install sleeves along the new road for potential future work there while leaving the existing lines in place.

The lines, which Sherwin said were installed in the early 1990s and are not in yet need of replacement, would still be accessible for any needed repairs following the interchange project’s completion by shutting down one lane of traffic on the new roadway there. Sherwin said the engineering decision was made to save the city unnecessary costs and to expedite construction.

“At this point we’re going to leave the water lines and sewer lines as is so that their project is not held up,” he said.

The council also approved an updated drought-contingency and water-conservation plan at its April 8 meeting, fulfilling a requirement set by the Texas Water Development Board for communities receiving its funding for projects. The Oak Ridge North plan includes new five- and 10-year goals for water loss and water waste reductions.

Finally, the council reappointed five sitting community affair committee members whose positions were set to expire at the end of the month. Their new terms will run into 2021.

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