TxDOT, land developer plan construction of new I-10 frontage road

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A near four-month back-and-forth battle waged between the Sealy City Council and the land developer for Town Park Center came to a halt a few weeks ago, and the almost abandoned Interstate 10 frontage road project jumped back on its tracks after council members agreed to fund and submit the remaining $314,000 to Texas Department of Transportation to keep it rolling.

Unfortunately, those dollars did not come before the land developer David Cryan sought legal remedy in Judge Jeff Steinhauser’s 155th District Court on Oct. 20, and the ruling, which forced city leadership to follow through on their end of a three-way project deal with Cryan and the Sealy Economic Development Corporation, was made.

At the time of the hearing, the developer argued the city’s persistent delays in funding the project was jeopardizing more than $10 million in real estate contracts Town Park had on the line pending construction of the frontage road.

Signs indicate that the frontage road and new development are on the fast track.

Fortunately, legal maneuverings back in October did not end Cryan’s land developing deals.

Mike Weber, representative for Town Park, said all of the developer’s contracts were set long ago and are in a title company responsible for ensuring real estate is legitimate before issuing insurance, which protects the lender or land owner from lawsuit.

Cryan has two hard real estate deals, Weber said, but he could not disclose their names.

“It’s a competitive situation,” Weber said.

The real estate developers do not wish to have the deal publicized before they have ironclad contracts in hand.

Prospectively, Town Park construction could begin in early 2016, Weber noted.

Paul Reitz, the newly appointed district engineer for TxDOT’s Yoakum District, said construction details and developing a schedule of events for work on the frontage road could begin now that all money has been received.

Contract details and signatures are still required, Reitz said, but development stages won’t wait for that conclusion.

TxDOT has been working on plans to reimburse more than $2 million to the city and developer committed to the frontage road project to date. Higher-ups in TxDOT are still arranging particulars to that end but Reitz said its still under review.

If those plans come to fruition, TxDOT would build the road at its own expense as part of a major highway expansion from Brookshire to FM 3538.

“It might take 30 to 90 days to work with the contractor to see when he could move in,” Reitz said, although construction probably won’t begin until late spring, somewhere between March and extending toward June or July.

“It depends on the weather and conditions on the construction site,” Reitz said, explaining the difficulty of nailing down an exact start date.

After six years waiting on this project, six more months could be all that’s left before bulldozers and dump trucks line Interstate 10 and the parallel feeder road.

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