Improvements to FM 1417 may be coming sooner than initially expected. During the Sherman-Denison Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting Wednesday morning, the group adopted a 25-year list of proposed projects that include a series of improvements and the widening of FM 1417 near the future site of Sherman High School.

Initial drafts of the MPO’s Metropolitan Transportation Plan included changes to the bridge on FM 1417 at State Highway 56. However, Sherman representatives requested additional improvements along the roadway for increased access to the future school site.

“The unfortunate part of massive road projects like the FM 1417 expansion is that they take years to plan and years more to execute,” Sherman Community and Support Services Manager Nate Strauch said. “The Sherman High School project has change a lot for our city in the last two years, and it’s a testament to our local leadership that they’re looking for ways to support that project with infrastructure, sooner rather than later.”

While the MTP outlines projects through the year 2045, the primary focus has been on the upcoming 10 years. Projects beyond the year 2030 were included in the plan, but not given a tentative timetable of proposed state date.

Initial versions of the included improvements to FM 1417, including a widening of the roadway, but they were not expected to be in the near future. Only the improvements to the SH 56 bride were given a proposed start date.

The bridge project was initially projected to cost about $2.9 million to complete, but Barnett increased the project cost to about $25 million. SDMPO Executive Director Clay Barnett noted that he expects the bridge project to cost more than the $2.9 million estimated by the city, but Sherman has committed to picking up any additional cost from that project.

The project is expected to begin some time in 2030.

The final draft of the MTP also included an update to improvements along U.S. Highway. A project initially called for improvements to the highway from Fallon Drive to just north of the Hwy. 72 and Hwy. 82 intersection, but this has been extended south to State Highway 91.

This will tie the project into improvements improvements to the highway from FM 1417 to SH 91 that are expected to begin early next year.