Lucas Town Council Tackles New Streets Issues
Reflecting the reality that always seems to accompany significant population growth, the Lucas Town Council, citizens and staff devoted much of their April 5th meeting to discussions about three new street reconstruction issues before they approved each of the three proposals.
Overriding the specifics about each of the proposed projects however, were expressions of concern by several Council members, including Mayor Jim Olk, and residents that any additional street construction, detours and inconveniences to Lucas residents be mitigated to the greatest extent possible. One resident, Maureen Miller said it this way, “With all of the road construction already underway, we are suffering from detour fatigue.” Her pleas obviously resonated with Council members. As a result, the timing of additional construction may be timed, for example, to take place during school summer recess so that school buses will not be on the roads during peak construction. Seat Five Councilmember Debbie Fisher urged a very measured approach to additional road work because she believes the town is already managing as much construction as it can efficiently.
The Council approved proposals; the first authorizes the City Manager, Joni Clarke, to use 24-foot concrete construction instead of the existing asphalt road bed in the design of the Blondy Jhune road project slated from west bridge to Winningkoff Road and that guardrails not be a part of the roadway design; a proposal to add a fourth approach from 995 W. Lucas Road to the Country Club Road/W. Lucas Road intersection and to make improvements to the northwest corner of that intersection; and a third proposal to authorize the City Manager to enter into an agreement for the construction of the Stinson Road Paving and Drainage Improvements to the lowest responsible bidder and allocating up to $488,572 for the work.
It became apparent in the discussions of the three projects that each contains myriad complications with many different interests in play. City Engineer Stanton Foerster commented that, “The Blondy Jhune Road and W. Lucas Road projects are among the most complex I can recall. They are complicated because so many different people have many different goals.”
In other Council business, Mayor Olk presented Lucas resident Tracy Matern with a Service Tree Certificate for her leadership and work in raising awareness of the obligation the town has to maintain trees and parkland. Included in the presentation is a plaque that will be affixed to a tree in a prominent location.
Two students from Lovejoy High School, Olivia Porsch and Jerad King made presentations to the Council summarizing the work each had accomplished during their Lovejoy ISD Independent Studies Program. Porsch related discoveries she made during her Bible Study Project while King explained how his environmental studies will aid local communities to preserve the environment. He informed the Council that he will be attending A&M University at Corpus Christi beginning in September where he will pursue a degree in Environmental Studies as a first step in a career as a marine biologist.