Sherman is moving forward with plans to widen FM 1417 from U.S. Highway 82 to State Highway 56 on the city’s west side.


The Sherman City Council approved an advance funding agreement Monday with the Texas Department of Transportation for project management of the design of the roadway widening. The agreement states the work will widen FM 1417 from two lanes to four lanes from Hwy. 82 to Hwy. 56 with a continuous left turn lane. The work will also replace the bridge at Sand Creek and reconstruct the interchange at Hwy. 56.


“As part of this agreement, TxDOT will coordinate the utility relocations and manage the construction of this project,” Director of Engineering Clint Philpott said. “Our requirement was the schematic design ad, then we’ll also be in charge of right-of-way acquisition.”


The advance funding agreement lays out the responsibilities of Sherman and TxDOT for engineering design, land acquisition, construction and the relocation of utilities. It also specifies Sherman’s maximum amount of contribution to the contract is $2 million. City staff said Sherman will have additional costs for the acquisition of rights of way and engineering services outside the contract.


The contract includes a budget for the project that shows the total estimated cost of the work to be $18.7 million. In addition to the $2 million Sherman is contributing to the work, the state will provide $3.34 million and the federal government will provide $13.36 million.


Funds for the project will come from a 2016 issuance of certificates of obligation and a future issuance planned for 2018.


Last year, the city approved an engineering services contract with H.W. Lochner Inc. for environmental studies and schematic design of FM 1417 from Hwy. 82 to Hwy. 56. The expansion of FM 1417 is part of the city’s ongoing goal to widen the entire corridor.


After approving the advance funding agreement, the council also approved a supplemental agreement for the city’s contract with engineering firm H.W. Lochner. In June of last year, the council awarded the company a contract to do schematic design and environmental studies on FM 1417 from Washington Street to just south of Hwy. 82. In September of last year, it extended that contract one mile south to Hwy. 56 and then in December approved a supplemental agreement showing Sherman would provide right-of-way surveying and maps, parcel plats and deeds for the widening project. The new supplemental agreement says Sherman plans to change the project schedule and fee schedule, and assist in the acquisition of right-of-way procedures.


Philpott explained the supplemental agreement will allow H.W. Lochner to make sure the city meets all the federal and state guidelines. With the supplemental agreement, the maximum amount to be paid by the city goes up $177,500 to $892,361.60 for the contract.


“Current funding is available for the right of way acquisition, future funding will actually be required as the construction date of (FM) 1417 moves closer,” Philpott said. “We expect that to be sometime next year.”


The work schedule for the city’s contract with H.W. Lochner shows the company is expected to be done with schematic Development by March of next year, while right-of-way acquisition isn’t expected to be completed until Jan. 31, 2019. The work schedule shows the project is expected to be completed by early August 2019.


Philpott said the city still has about 24 parcels of land to purchase as part of the right-of-way acquisitions.


“They’re all narrow, five to 10 feet here and there around the intersections,” Philpott said. “Nothing major but still required to take a look at, get appraisals done and make offers on.”