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Grand Street History/Timeline, Costs, and Recommendations

Good evening, Mayor & City Council –

Below is a history/timeline of Grand Street from the Comanche Trail Golf Course entrance south to 58th Street.  At the end you will also see estimated costs involved in reconstructing the road and staff recommendations. 

1978 Annexation:
The annexation agreements for properties west of grand street that ultimately became the City of Amarillo Golf Course were written with the eastern boundary line being the section line between property sections.  Typically, County Right of Way (ROW) encompasses the section line with each adjacent property owner dedicating 30 to 35 feet for a total ROW width of 60 to 70 feet.  Additionally, the roadway construction (paving) may or may not be centered or even consistently aligned inside the dedicated ROW.  This appears to be the case for Grand Street.  By annexing to the Section line, an inconsistent amount of the public ROW and an inconsistent amount of paving is inside the city limits and belongs to the City.

1999 Joint Maintenance Responsibilities Agreement between City of Amarillo and Randall County:
On October 29, 1999, Randall County Judge Ted Wood and Amarillo Director of Public Works Mike Kennedy formalized an agreement for shared maintenance responsibilities for that portion of Grand Street where the city limits runs approximately parallel to the center line of the road.  I have attached the agreement to this post.  Randall County responsibilities include sealcoating this entire portion of the roadway on a 6-year cycle, and continue to mow the entire right of way, as needed.  The City of Amarillo Street Department would take care of the day-to-day maintenance such as pothole patching, etc.  The City of Amarillo would also stripe the center line and invoice Randall County on an every other year basis. 

2014 Development Plans:
A conceptual development plan (CDP) was submitted by Thomas & Israel Engineers on behalf of SV Enterprise LLC for Section 120 in April of 2014.  Section 120 is on the east side of grand street from the section line that would be 45th street to 58th Street ROW.   The CDP was the precursor to our current requirement for a Preliminary Plan and at that time was optional.  The property owner’s group and staff met to discuss the requirements for developing Section 120, preliminarily named Silverpoint Addition.  Staff notes indicate that annexation of the section was being considered by the owners as late as spring of 2016.

2016 Internal Annexation Policy Change: 
Texas Local Government Code was modified in 2001 and further amended in 2015 to require municipalities that propose to annex any portion of a county road or territory that abuts a county road to also annex the entire width of the county road and the adjacent right-of-way on both sides of the county road.  This requirement has been enforced on all annexations after the state law amendment in 2015.

2016 Community Improvement Plan:
The expansion of Grand Street was proposed as one of the growth components of the Proposition 1 Transportation Bond proposal based on periodic engagement with the owners of the Silverpoint development group. The project was scoped to upgrade the typical 2-lane county road section to a 5-lane section line arterial from approximately the golf course entrance south to 58th Street.  Proposition 1 allocated $3.86MM for the project, but the estimated cost was $7.5MM at the time with drainage but no utilities or lights.  The drainage funding was in a different proposition and not approved by the voters.  There were additional considerations for extensive earthwork and drainage facilities to remove the proposed arterial from the flood plain.  Because the owner’s group did not follow through with an annexation request the Proposition 1 dollars allocated to Grand Street were re-allocated to the 19/20 Summer Street Maintenance Project and expended through that project.  This was due in large part to the inability to use the City of Amarillo approved bond dollars on a project partially outside of the city limits.  The 19/20 Summer Street Maintenance Project was one of the largest street maintenance projects ever accomplished by the City of Amarillo.

Recent Maintenance from Public Works and Traffic Counts:
The Street Division has pulled pavement maintenance records on Grand between 34th and 58th from VueWorks (current work order system) dating back to 2019 when VueWorks was implemented for work order tracking.  Staff have begun the process of sorting through hard copies of maintenance records as well as sealcoat and crackseal records from 2014 to 2019 which will continue into next week. 

2019 to Current Grand Street maintenance between 34th and 58th

  • 10 Pothole Workorders which repaired approximately 110 potholes with an average size of 9 SY.

Traffic counts for Grand at the 34th intersection:
Grand– 11,537 (Daily count volume)
NB: 1,033
SB: 3,841
EB: 4,399
WB: 2,264

Sample comparisons to arterials with the same cross intersections.      

Ross – 28,849 (Daily count volume)
NB: 7,026
SB: 8,913
EB: 7,213
WB: 5,697

Georgia – 36,113 (Daily count volume)
NB: 9,331
SB: 13,061
EB: 7,583
WB: 6,138

Bell – 44,067 (Daily count volume)
NB: 14,535
SB: 11,076
EB: 9,340
WB: 9,116

Future Discussions with City Council and staff recommendations
Capital Projects and Development Engineering has engaged a land surveyor to verify and map the ROW of Grand Street from 34th to 58th.  The survey will identify where the section line and/or City Limits are located inside the ROW as well as where the paving is located inside the ROW.  This will confirm ROW and pavement owned by the City and ROW and pavement owned by Randall County.   

The current cost estimate to expand the existing roadway section from a 2-lane county road below the floodplain elevation to a 5-lane arterial road above the floodplain is approximately $20MM for the 1.75 Mile segment.  To instead reconstruct the road at 2-lanes would cost approximately $10-12MM due to the extensive earthwork required with either scenario to remove it from the floodplain.  This figure includes curb, gutter, and sidewalks.  By removing those, it would bring the estimate down to $7-10MM.  The 2-lane option may be preferred due to the lower traffic counts and limited plans that staff are aware of for growth in this area.    

If City Council would like to consider investing in this road project, I would recommend annexing the entire ROW.  I would also recommend discussing with Randall County if they would consider paying 50% of the project costs and that the City would cover all the maintenance and replacement long-term after completion, due to the road being fully within the city limits moving forward.     

Sincerely,
Andrew Freeman
Interim City Manager 

Uploaded files:
Andrew Freeman Deputy City Manager

Afternoon Team

Andrew this is very beneficial information and we appreciate the update.  When do you think we will have the survey back so that we can easily illustrate where the county line is?  I would appreciate that visual aid in trying to communicate to our citizens about how we will need to collaborate with the county in order to look at the options for replacement as described above.

 

Thank you 

Quote from Cole.Stanley@amarillo.gov on January 21, 2024, 2:10 pm

Afternoon Team

Andrew this is very beneficial information and we appreciate the update.  When do you think we will have the survey back so that we can easily illustrate where the county line is?  I would appreciate that visual aid in trying to communicate to our citizens about how we will need to collaborate with the county in order to look at the options for replacement as described above.

 

Thank you 

Good morning,

We are working to finalize the scope with the surveyor.  As soon as I receive an estimated timeline for completion, I will post an update on this message thread.

Thanks,
Andrew Freeman
Interim City Manager

Andrew Freeman Deputy City Manager

Andrew:

Would it be possible for you to give an executive summary about this issue on the forum? I see the information, but I'd like to get a boilerplate explanation on this issue so that I get a clear understanding of what's going on and why as well as citizens understand why this is being discussed. Thanks! Les

Thank you. On similar topic, can we get some info on what happened to all of the bond money,  and what projects were completed/not completed, and where that money went. If there were projects to be slated for completion with those funds, and weren’t, where can we fit them in moving forward?

Quote from Andrew Freeman on January 19, 2024, 6:55 pm

Good evening, Mayor & City Council –

Based on the fatality accident occurring in the 4800 block of South Grand on January 11th and subsequent community interest in the condition of the road, I asked staff to provide me with more details on the history of the road and recent maintenance records.  What we have discovered is history going back to 1978 when a portion of the road was annexed into the city limits.  Prior to recent state law changes on annexations, cities would typically annex to the section line instead of encompassing the entire right of way (ROW), which led to split ownership between government entities.  Based on this information, I asked that staff go ahead and order a survey of the road to ensure we know which portions of the ROW and pavement belong to the City of Amarillo compared to which portion belongs to Randall County.  This should be complete in 2-4 weeks.  We also were able to find documentation of past joint maintenance responsibilities with Randall County due to the split ownership, going back to 1999.  Most recent City maintenance records also indicate we have continued to repair potholes along the road, as needed.  Staff shared with me information on the 2016 bond dollars that were approved for this road, but those funds went to a different priority project due to the split ownership and no annexation completed by a proposed development project in the area, along with our inability to spend bond dollars outside the city limits.  Lastly, we did go ahead and prepare some approximate costs to build a 5-lane arterial or keeping it 2-lanes which might be a better option due to the traffic counts on S. Grand in this area and the lack of planned development that we are aware of to warrant a wider road.  For more detailed information, please see the summary below.          

Below is a history/timeline of Grand Street from the Comanche Trail Golf Course entrance south to 58th Street.  At the end you will also see estimated costs involved in reconstructing the road and staff recommendations. 

1978 Annexation:
The annexation agreements for properties west of grand street that ultimately became the City of Amarillo Golf Course were written with the eastern boundary line being the section line between property sections.  Typically, County Right of Way (ROW) encompasses the section line with each adjacent property owner dedicating 30 to 35 feet for a total ROW width of 60 to 70 feet.  Additionally, the roadway construction (paving) may or may not be centered or even consistently aligned inside the dedicated ROW.  This appears to be the case for Grand Street.  By annexing to the Section line, an inconsistent amount of the public ROW and an inconsistent amount of paving is inside the city limits and belongs to the City.

1999 Joint Maintenance Responsibilities Agreement between City of Amarillo and Randall County:
On October 29, 1999, Randall County Judge Ted Wood and Amarillo Director of Public Works Mike Kennedy formalized an agreement for shared maintenance responsibilities for that portion of Grand Street where the city limits runs approximately parallel to the center line of the road.  I have attached the agreement to this post.  Randall County responsibilities include sealcoating this entire portion of the roadway on a 6-year cycle, and continue to mow the entire right of way, as needed.  The City of Amarillo Street Department would take care of the day-to-day maintenance such as pothole patching, etc.  The City of Amarillo would also stripe the center line and invoice Randall County on an every other year basis. 

2014 Development Plans:
A conceptual development plan (CDP) was submitted by Thomas & Israel Engineers on behalf of SV Enterprise LLC for Section 120 in April of 2014.  Section 120 is on the east side of grand street from the section line that would be 45th street to 58th Street ROW.   The CDP was the precursor to our current requirement for a Preliminary Plan and at that time was optional.  The property owner’s group and staff met to discuss the requirements for developing Section 120, preliminarily named Silverpoint Addition.  Staff notes indicate that annexation of the section was being considered by the owners as late as spring of 2016.

2016 Internal Annexation Policy Change: 
Texas Local Government Code was modified in 2001 and further amended in 2015 to require municipalities that propose to annex any portion of a county road or territory that abuts a county road to also annex the entire width of the county road and the adjacent right-of-way on both sides of the county road.  This requirement has been enforced on all annexations after the state law amendment in 2015.

2016 Community Improvement Plan:
The expansion of Grand Street was proposed as one of the growth components of the Proposition 1 Transportation Bond proposal based on periodic engagement with the owners of the Silverpoint development group. The project was scoped to upgrade the typical 2-lane county road section to a 5-lane section line arterial from approximately the golf course entrance south to 58th Street.  Proposition 1 allocated $3.86MM for the project, but the estimated cost was $7.5MM at the time with drainage but no utilities or lights.  The drainage funding was in a different proposition and not approved by the voters.  There were additional considerations for extensive earthwork and drainage facilities to remove the proposed arterial from the flood plain.  Because the owner’s group did not follow through with an annexation request the Proposition 1 dollars allocated to Grand Street were re-allocated to the 19/20 Summer Street Maintenance Project and expended through that project.  This was due in large part to the inability to use the City of Amarillo approved bond dollars on a project partially outside of the city limits.  The 19/20 Summer Street Maintenance Project was one of the largest street maintenance projects ever accomplished by the City of Amarillo.

Recent Maintenance from Public Works and Traffic Counts:
The Street Division has pulled pavement maintenance records on Grand between 34th and 58th from VueWorks (current work order system) dating back to 2019 when VueWorks was implemented for work order tracking.  Staff have begun the process of sorting through hard copies of maintenance records as well as sealcoat and crackseal records from 2014 to 2019 which will continue into next week. 

2019 to Current Grand Street maintenance between 34th and 58th

  • 10 Pothole Workorders which repaired approximately 110 potholes with an average size of 9 SY.

Traffic counts for Grand at the 34th intersection:
Grand– 11,537 (Daily count volume)
NB: 1,033
SB: 3,841
EB: 4,399
WB: 2,264

Sample comparisons to arterials with the same cross intersections.      

Ross – 28,849 (Daily count volume)
NB: 7,026
SB: 8,913
EB: 7,213
WB: 5,697

Georgia – 36,113 (Daily count volume)
NB: 9,331
SB: 13,061
EB: 7,583
WB: 6,138

Bell – 44,067 (Daily count volume)
NB: 14,535
SB: 11,076
EB: 9,340
WB: 9,116

Future Discussions with City Council and staff recommendations
Capital Projects and Development Engineering has engaged a land surveyor to verify and map the ROW of Grand Street from 34th to 58th.  The survey will identify where the section line and/or City Limits are located inside the ROW as well as where the paving is located inside the ROW.  This will confirm ROW and pavement owned by the City and ROW and pavement owned by Randall County.   

The current cost estimate to expand the existing roadway section from a 2-lane county road below the floodplain elevation to a 5-lane arterial road above the floodplain is approximately $20MM for the 1.75 Mile segment.  To instead reconstruct the road at 2-lanes would cost approximately $10-12MM due to the extensive earthwork required with either scenario to remove it from the floodplain.  This figure includes curb, gutter, and sidewalks.  By removing those, it would bring the estimate down to $7-10MM.  The 2-lane option may be preferred due to the lower traffic counts and limited plans that staff are aware of for growth in this area.    

If City Council would like to consider investing in this road project, I would recommend annexing the entire ROW.  I would also recommend discussing with Randall County if they would consider paying 50% of the project costs and that the City would cover all the maintenance and replacement long-term after completion, due to the road being fully within the city limits moving forward.     

Sincerely,
Andrew Freeman
Interim City Manager 

Good morning,

I have updated my previous post in the quote box above to include an introductory paragraph explaining what led to my original post.

Thank you,
Andrew Freeman
Interim City Manager

Andrew Freeman Deputy City Manager
Quote from Josh.Craft@amarillo.gov on January 22, 2024, 3:05 pm

Thank you. On similar topic, can we get some info on what happened to all of the bond money,  and what projects were completed/not completed, and where that money went. If there were projects to be slated for completion with those funds, and weren’t, where can we fit them in moving forward?

Yes, sir.  We are working on that currently with our internal auditor and we will have an external auditor review it as well.  It is taking slightly longer than expected due to 8 years of data and paperwork to review on all the projects.  

Thanks,
Andrew Freeman
Interim City Manager  

Andrew Freeman Deputy City Manager