County Commissioner update

Dianne Edmondson, Denton County Commissioner, Precinct Four

About 1000 people each day move to the Lone Star state and many of them come to the Denton County region. So, the strain on our roadways is tremendous. As all of us scurry daily to get to work, school and our many life events, we need a safe transportation infrastructure. One major responsibility of county government is maintenance and repair of county roads, not including city streets, state or federal highways. However, we often partner with cities and the Texas Department of Transportation to facilitate road and bridge projects on non-county roads. For example, the upcoming reconstruction of Crawford Road will be a joint effort with Denton County, the City of Denton and the Town of Argyle. Your county has committed two million dollars for this project.

Your Road and Bridge West crews spend much time repairing existing county roads. The current schedule has them busy on Tim Donald Road and Sam Reynolds Road, as well as contracted work on South County Line Road and Amyx Bridge Road.

To ensure that we are spending county resources efficiently and effectively, I have commissioned a Precinct Three and Precinct Four county road assessment. We include Precinct Three because it only has a few miles of county roads and the Road and Bridge West Department is responsible for them as well. The engineering firm began its assessment on March 17 and will provide their report in mid-April as a critical part of determining the road maintenance schedule for the next few years. A current internal estimate for bringing all Denton county Precinct Four county roads to high standards is up to $302 million, including preparatory drainage work which keeps water from causing roads to fail.

I know that is a huge amount of money. It is especially challenging when one considers that our Precinct’s annual road operating budget is about $5 million to $7 million dollars. When the assessment is complete, we will create a plan setting a regular, long-term maintenance schedule that should help prevent higher costs in the future.

However, any schedule is always subject to safety emergencies such as the under-the-road cave we recently repaired on Ripy Road. I am pleased to report your Road and Bridge crew responded immediately before any serious accidents occurred.

Paving materials are temperature sensitive, so our normal paving season runs from mid-April until October. The amount of paving we can get done during that weather-dictated timeframe also is limited by budget and available workers. We typically run three crews to correct drainage, trim trees and pave. Additionally, crews mow, attend to non-project drainage issues and fill potholes.

Further updates will be sent out soon in an email newsletter that will include more details about ongoing projects. To receive the Precinct 4 newsletter, please email [email protected] and ask to be added to the list. You also are welcome to attend the Commissioners Court meeting at 9:00 a.m. each Tuesday at the Courthouse on the Square, or to watch the proceedings via Facebook Live on the Denton County Facebook page.