Sherman recently approved a contract for engineering services for the planned widening of FM 1417 from State Highway 56 to U.S. Highway 82 to be done by the Texas Department of Transportation.

“This supplemental agreement is an extension of an existing contract that we have with Lochner Engineering,” City Engineer Clint Philpott said. “They’re actually doing the schematic design and right of way for the expansion of 1417 from State Highway 56 to U.S. Highway 82. And this is the next step in that process.”

The expansion of FM 1417 will widen the roadway to four lanes as part of the city’s ongoing goal to widen the entire corridor. Sherman previously decided to provide right-of-way surveying, right-of-way maps, parcel plats, and deeds for the widening project to be done by TxDOT.

The Sherman City Council approved an engineering contract with H.W. Lochner Inc. in June for the schematic design and environmental studies of FM 1417 from Washington Street to just south of Hwy. 82. In September, the council then approved a supplemental agreement to extend that contract one mile south to Highway 56.

“They (Lochner) have to put together right-of-way maps and property acquisition deeds that TxDOT requires,” Philpott said. “So this is that next step.”

The latest supplemental agreement approved by the Sherman council will increase the contract amount with Lochner by $151,201.10 to $714,861.60. The contract was previously for $563,660.50 and funds for the project are slated to come from the city’s 2016 certificates of obligation bond issuance.

As for the timeline for the project, Philpott said schematics should be done in the first quarter of the year.

“At that point in time, the idea is we’re going to hand it off to TxDOT, and they’re going to finish the design,” Philpott said, adding the project likely still has another year of work on it.

In August, the Texas Transportation Commission, the overseeing body for TxDOT, approved $70 billion in spending for Texas roadway projects as a part of its 2017 Unified Transportation Plan. The updated numbers for funding include funds authorized by the federal government along with funds authorized by Proposition 1 in 2014 and Proposition 7 in 2015.

In October, TxDOT announced it had awarded a $19.8 million contract for the widening of FM 1417 from State Highway 11 to FM 691 to DL Lennon Inc., of Commerce. The contractor was given 24 months, weather permitting, to widen the existing roadway, adding a two-way turning lane in the center and installing 12-foot shoulders to accommodate right turns, bicyclists and pedestrians.