Sherman is partnering with the Sherman Economic Development Corp. to extend Fallon Drive to Dripping Springs Road in the near future as part of an effort bolster industrial activity in the city’s Midway Industrial Park.

The Sherman City Council recently approved a $91,750 professional services agreement with McManus & Johnson Consulting Engineers LLC for the engineering design of Fallon Drive’s planned extension.

“The reason for this is there is a 20-acre tract of land being developed,” Sherman Director of Engineering Clint Philpott said. “Half of it is going to be a 180,000-square-foot warehouse.”

Philpott said the city would be splitting the cost of the project with SEDCO. He said it is necessary to extend the road to create a future thoroughfare to the industrial park in that area. SEDCO President Kent Sharp said the extension of Fallon Drive will be vital to industrial activity in that part of the city.

“SEDCO and the city of Sherman have a history of partnering on infrastructure projects which benefit industrial activities,” Sharp said via email. “The extension of Fallon Drive to Dripping Springs Road will open up additional industrial land to be made available for existing and potential new manufacturing endeavors at Midway Industrial Park. This type of investment (industrial/manufacturing) is good for Sherman because it adds jobs in our city as well as new taxable property to the tax rolls.”

In 2016, SEDCO helped bring Midway Warehouses — a 60,000-square-foot commercial warehouse — to the area along Fallon Drive, which is east of the Midway Mall. The proposed road extension will take Fallon Drive to the southeast to connect with Dripping Springs Road to support another proposed warehouse development in the area.

In addition to the engineering work, the resolution approved by the council includes the removal of a lift station an extension of sewer line to the lift station at the corner of Jack Cole Road and Dripping Springs Road. In a document created for the council, city staff said the 12-inch water line will be extended to the south to tie into Dripping Springs road. A portion of the contract will also include a topography survey of the area to be sub-contracted to Helvey Surveying.

The council approved an ordinance last month to close and abandon the platted right-of-way for Midway Drive, which was to be a roadway that intersected with Fallon Drive in the Midway Industrial Park. The street was never developed and the closure and abandonment turns it over to Data Vault Joint Venture, which owns the surrounding property and operates Midway Warehouses.

Because of the recent interest in the land from a developer, Philpott explained the proposed roadway’s location could be moved through a future replat.

In December, the council approved a separate $156,600 engineering contract with Brockette/Davis/Drake Inc. for designs to improve and expand a portion of Flanary Road and Progress Drive in conjunction with SEDCO. The expansion of Progress Drive into a four-lane divided roadway would allow direct access to the west side of SEDCO’s Progress Park industrial area from U.S. Highway 75 and a secondary exit from the industries. The roadway currently provides access to JP Hart Lumber Co., the Panda Power facility and Progress Rail Services, among others.