Portions of Denison’s West Loy Lake Road may soon get a facelift as a part of a waterline and utility improvement project.

The city council recently approved a $164,000 contract with consulting firm Huitt Zollars for planning on the improvements to nearly 1.5 miles of the roadway.

“We will be replacing the waterline,” Assistant Public Works Director Carrie Jones said. “It is just aging infrastructure that needs to be replaced.”

City officials decided to include improvements to the roadway itself as part of the project due to the scale of the improvements and potholes and utility cuts that have marred the surface in recent years, Jones said. This would help ensure that the city has quality infrastructure, both water and transportation, in an area that has recently seen growth in recent years.

“This project is, one, to see it has the capacity to handle the growth and then to ensure we have no problems in the future,” she said.

The project will be broken into two phases with one extending from U.S. Highway 75 to Easy Street. The second will extend from Easy Street to Waterloo Lake Regional Park.

The roadway is not expected to be closed entirely as some connecting streets in the area do not have additional outlets other than Loy Lake Road.

The project will not see any reroutes or changes in the road’s location, but Jones said she was uncertain if the project may include a widening of Loy Lake Road or other improvements. These decisions would be made as a part of the design process, she said.”

The planning phase is expected to take about 12 months to complete, but Jones said she is not certain of how long the building phase is projected to take. However, City Manager Jud Rex previously said the project would likely fall within the 2020 fiscal year.

Huitt Zollars has previously worked with the city on several other planning projects in recent years, including its recent comprehensive plan update and the related thoroughfare and future land use plans. The firm also worked with the Sherman-Denison Metropolitan Planning Organization and Grayson County on the recently recent Grayson County thoroughfare plan.

Jones said this previous work and relationship did play a small role in the city’s decision to choose Huitt Zollars for the new plan.