A project to improve infrastructure on Elm Street where it passes through Shawnee Park has hit a snag but now looks to be back on track.

The plan aims to improve the appearance along Elm Street from its intersection with Cypress Street north to approximately South Street. City Manager David Casteel hopes that city crews can start work in September.

“What the project does is go in and align that channel that goes through there — that meanders all over the place — and fixes some of the sidewalk issues for pedestrians and adds some decorative rail at the intersections of Highway 16, or Elm Street, and Brazos and Cypress,” Casteel said.

The channel Casteel referred to is Mad Creek, a small creek that runs from Indiana Street through town, crossing Texas and Carolina Streets before coming into Shawnee Park and eventually terminating at Salt Creek.

The funding for the project comes from two sources: $100,000 from the Texas Department of Transportation discretionary fund and approximately $140,000 that Keep Graham Beautiful was awarded through TxDOT from the Governor’s Community Achievement program for the volunteer organization’s beautification efforts. The project is really a TxDOT project, Casteel explained, as they did the environmental study and drafted the plans. The city and KGB were consulted throughout the design.

The project was opened for bids in June but has not received an offer. TxDOT planned to re-advertise in September and October, Casteel said.

“What we are looking at now is, instead of them going out for open market bids, they would instead hire the city to do the work and reimburse us for our cost,” Casteel said. “And then we would, you know, for some specialty work like rock laying and stuff like that, we would hire local contractors to do that work. It would still be all TxDOT funds, but maybe the city would do the work.”

TxDOT is in the process of approving a modification to the funding agreement that would allow for the reimbursement of the city to do the work.

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