The Sealy City Council authorized Interim City Manager Warren Escovy last week to move forward with a much-debated Interstate 10 feeder road project.
Escovy said there are options on how to pay for the roads, which, if done simultaneously with a Texas Department of Transportation widening project, will cost the city an estimated $275,000 to acquire the property and transfer it to TxDOT – rather than foot the bill for the entire road project, which would extend from Rogers Road to F.M. 3538.
“We don’t have the money, really, because it’s not budgeted,” Councilman Larry Koy said. “Where will we get that money?”
However, Koy added that the city is “losing a golden opportunity” if they do not proceed with building the feeder roads as soon as possible.
Councilwoman Jennifer Sullivan pointed out that the city recently spent millions of dollars on a frontage road that “has created a traffic hazard.”
“It’s [a] horrible design,” she said. “If we don’t continue that feeder road to 3538, we’re going to continue to have that issue. It’s going to lead to an accident.”
If the project proceeds in sync with the TxDOT project, the state bears the cost of easements, Sullivan explained. If done later, it will cost the city millions of dollars, she added.
“If we don’t do it now, it’s not going to happen,” she said.
Other council members agreed that it was incumbent upon the council to find a way to proceed with the project quickly.
“I agree we need these frontage roads, and if we do it now, it saves us money in the long run,” said Councilwoman Sandra Vrablec.
Escovy said after the Sept. 26 that the feeder roads will be easier for motorists to navigate.
“It’s better for businesses to have one-way feeders, like what you have in Houston or Katy,” he said.