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Sherman opens bids for Hilre Drive extension

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
City officials are proposing to extend Hilre Drive to North Travis as a part of plans to address traffic concerns in the area.

Sherman's Hilre Drive may soon get an update aimed at alleviating traffic concerns in northwest Sherman.

The Sherman City Council recently approved moving forward with requesting bids for the extension of Hilre Drive to North Travis.

The move comes as city officials attempt to address an awkward and potentially dangerous spot on North Creek Drive with two stop signs in close proximity of each other.

"This extension is needed for safety purposes so that we can eventually close off Knollwood where it intersects with North Creek Drive," Sherman Engineering Director Wayne Lee said.

Under the current layout,, Hilre empties out onto Knollwood, with southbound traffic directed toward North Creek Drive.  The drive intersects with Travis Street just west of where it intersects with Knollwood.

This creates an odd series of intersections in close proximity that are controlled by stop signs.

The Hilre extension first gained traction in mid 2019 when developers of proposed mixed use and apartment developments in the area discussed assisting in the project amid concerns of traffic from these uses. 

There are current plans for the Texas Department of Transportation to install a stop light at the Travis intersection, but the city would need to address this situation first, city staff said.

The city is proposing to extend Hilre to Travis Street and abandon the section of Knollwood between Hilre and North Creek. This would instead direct traffic onto Travis and eliminate one of the intersections.

Lee said the scope of the current project would only include the construction of Hilre. City crews could then go back in and remove the asphalt from the abandoned section of Knollwood. However, the majority of the work will likely fall on developers.

City Council Member Sandra Melton proposed using city crews for the project as a possible cost savings.  City Manager Robby Hefton said the scope of the project is too large for the city staff to do. He compared it to the paving of the library parking lot, which put significant strain on city crews and their resources.

"They did a wonderful job, but it ate up so much of the crew's time that we had to do some catching up after that," Hefton said.

City officials said the contract will likely be finalized some time in February, with construction expected to take place in March or April.