During a meeting Monday night, Sherman approved a $203,000 contract with Teague Nall & Perkins for engineering services for proposed improvements to Moore Street. This marks the second roadway project that the city has embarked on to improve access to the future Sherman High School site following the approval of a construction contract for the West Travis extension project in May.

The City Council approved the contract for plans to widen the road to a four-lane, median-divided roadway ahead of the opening of the school next year.

“This will be similar to what we are seeing at West Travis Street,” Director of Engineering Clint Philpott said.

While the construction on the project will ultimately be done in multiple phases, but the city seeks to do all engineering for it with this single contract. The first phase of the project will run for about 3,000 feet from West Travis to Park Street and will only encompass the two west lanes.

City officials said traffic in the area only supports the expansion of the west lanes, but future growth will later make it necessary to fully upgrade the road. Philpott gave no timeline on when this will be needed based on current growth patterns.

The second phase will extend these upgrades from Park south to FM1417.

In May, city officials described the construction of West Travis as having an impact on both capacity and future development as it created access to new property along what will become a highly-travelled, high population area. This could lead to the development of business properties, including restaurants and retail along the roadway.

However this likely would not be the case with Moore Street, as it doesn’t have the same impact and accessibility as West Travis, city officials said.

“We don’t know in the long term, but in the short term, we see this as more of a residential connector,” Community and Support Services Manager Nate Strauch said.

Philpott said there were no current plans to expand any other rural roadways near the future high school site, but acknowledged that this could change rapidly due to the city’s growth in recent years.

“That doesn’t mean that in three to six months there won’t be (plans),” he said.

The planning phase of the project is expected to take about four months, with construction completed by August of 2020, Philpott said.

Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter. He can be reached at MHutchins@HeraldDemocrat.com.