Sherman could end up saving more than $600,000 on the upcoming expansion of Moore Street into a four-lane boulevard. Initial engineering estimates for the project put the budget at about $2 million, however all bids can in significantly under this estimate.

The City Council approved a $1.33 million contract with Lynn Vessels Construction for the widening of Moore Street from West Travis to Park Avenue Monday night.

“This is a $2 million project that the city is getting for $1.3 million because of the economies of scale associated with Lynn Vessels’ ongoing construction in the area,” Sherman Community and Support Services Manager Nate Strauch said.

The city received three bid for the project, with prices ranging from $1.33 million from Lynn Vessels to a high bid of $1.79 million from Ed Bell Construction Company.

Strauch attributed the difference in price to logistical savings from Lynn Vessels, who has contracts with the city for other roadway projects surrounding the school. With equipment and resources already in the area, and Lynn Vessels based in Sherman, Strauch said the company was able to reduce its bottom line below its competitors.

Beyond saving city dollars, Strauch said the contract with Lynn Vessels also keeps the funding in the community.

“They know the area, they know the dirt,” Strauch said. “They have equipment in the area and they are able to quickly mobilize, which gives them a real competitive advantage.”

The project, when complete, will serve as one of the major connectors to the new Sherman High School once it opens this August. City officials had previously approved contracts for other major connectors, including West Travis, and this was one if the final projects needed to ensure proper connectivity to the school.

“This is significant in that it is the last piece of the puzzle from the city’s perspective,” Strauch said. “West Travis was always the a-list ticket item there, but making sure Moore and Park are connected to Travis is a big part of the project for us.”

The project will encompass the first phase of the construction, which will include the two western-most lanes of the roadway. The second phase that will widen the road into a four-lane, median-divided roadway will come as traffic and development demand, city officials previously said.

With the savings the city has seen on this and other roadway projects, Sherman has started looking at future roadway projects. Strauch said the city has been using the cost savings to purchase right-of-way land for the future expansion of FM 1417.

Construction on Moore Street is expected to begin some time in March and be completed by August.