The city council will seek more than $17 million in state and federal transportation grant money to improve roads and add sidewalks in areas such as Texas Avenue and FM 519, officials said.
The city has hired transportation consultants at The Goodman Corp. for a combined $75,000 between 2017 and 2018 to help with submitting a $17.4 million grant application to state and federal programs such as the Houston-Galveston Area Council, spokeswoman Colleen Merritt said.
The money would pay for most of the costs of projects including reconstructing Bayou Road with drainage improvements, new curbs, gutters and sidewalks, officials said.
It will be a few years before these projects would start, but if the city gets the funding, it has the responsibility of matching those grants 10 percent to 20 percent, officials said. The city’s estimated match is $3.5 million.
The city also will consider adding sidewalks along FM 1765 from FM 2004 to Interstate 45. The Goodman Corp. also will work out the details on who would maintain the sidewalks, but the city would be willing to maintain those sidewalks, officials said.
It’s time to improve the city’s infrastructure and make it easier for residents to travel either on foot, bike or car, Mayor Bobby Hocking said.
“I’ve observed that the majority of cities in our county take advantage of matching grant funding to improve the lives of their citizens,” he said. “In our city, the sidewalks included in this proposal could literally save lives, as confirmed by several fatalities on FM 519.”
The city council wants to focus on and make these areas of the city more safe because of past accidents, Mayor pro tem Keith Bell said.
“There have also been two vehicle fatalities between Bayou Road and state Highway 3,” he said. “We are targeting that area so we can prevent those kinds of accidents happening again.”
There is no specific date on when construction of projects across the city would start, spokeswoman Colleen Merritt said.
“Grants and funding takes time,” she said. “We are working on it and we are listening to people on what they want and need.”
Making sure residents can easily move around and children can get to school is a focus, Bell said.
“We want to make sure as they walk to and from destinations that they have a safe path and a safe place to walk,” Bell said.