Preston Road Construction Update

From Barry McPherson, head of the Infrastructure Committee – 

As you are most likely aware by now, the initial stages of construction for widening Texas Highway 289 are  underway.   Currently, franchise utilities such as cable TV and phone companies are relocating their lines on either side of the road, which will be followed by the Town of Prosper relocating a water line that crosses our entrance.  Once the franchise utilities are cleared, TxDOT’s contractor, Sinacola, will begin construction.  Work is slated to last for approximately 650 days or just about two years.   However, a hard start date has not been determined yet as the peripheral work will need to be completed first.  An estimate provided by Prosper is “within 30 days”.

The first phase of the project includes relocating and construction highway-specific utilities such as drainage systems.  The second phase will include widening of the west (southbound) lanes of the highway beginning at FM 1461 (roughly two miles north of us) and working south, eventually linking in with the construction on the US 360/TX 289 interchange currently under construction.  It is during this phase that the entrance to our community will also be revised in three steps lasting approximately a month.  First will be tearing out the median and paving it over.  The current exit lane will be completely torn out and repaved while ingress/egress lanes will be from approximately the south curb of the current median to the north curb of the entrance lane.  The second step will be just the opposite, with the newly paved exit lane and median area allowing two-lanes for ingress/egress while the current entrance lane is modified.  Once these two areas are completed, work will begin on modifying the center of the entrance including replacing our median.

This work is deemed necessary as 289 will be approximately two feet higher at the centerline of the road than it is currently.  As such, Stone Creek Drive will be modified to accommodate the new road elevation with construction extending back to the corner with Creek View.

Exact timing for the work has not been provided to us as, quite frankly, nobody knows just yet.

As part of the overall widening, a right-turn deceleration lane into our community will be constructed on the southbound lane of 289.  As a result of this additional lane, we are losing essentially all of the signage and planter features on the north side of our entrance.  Roughly everything between the face of the north-south stone wall and the current road must be taken out to accommodate easements associated with the new turn lane.  We have been pleading our case with the appropriate entities to omit the deceleration lane from their plans but it does not appear as though we will be successful.  Despite the overwhelming statistical evidence being insufficient to require the turn lane, the Town and TxDOT’s current design guidelines call for the turn lane.

Despite knowing all of the big-picture aspects of what is going to take place, there are  litanies of details that are still to be determined.  .  For example, despite repeated requests, we are unable to get an answer on whether  the revised entrance paving will be higher, lower, or at the same elevation as it is currently.  Furthermore,  we do not know exactly which trees will remain when everything is all said and done.

We realize that some residents are, or will be attempting to sell their homes during the construction period.  Unfortunately, the construction work is beyond  the control of the HOA.  Essentially, the board does not know what we will ultimately end up with once construction is completed.  To this end, it does not make fiscal sense to keep throwing money into dressing up the entrance during construction.  In theory, we could go out and spend thousands of dollars on temporary improvements only to have them bulldozed without consent.  The board realizes this is not the optimum condition for those attempting to sell, but there is  no alternative.  Stone Creek  will be a part of a construction zone and tolerance will be our best approach for the next two years.

Once construction is completed, the board will assess what the final outcome is to determine subsequent courses of action.  With the perimeter utilities, the southbound lanes and our entrance being part of the initial phases, it may be possible to address our entrance before the balance of 289 is completed.   All residents need to know that recreating an entrance which will be aesthetically pleasing and an asset to the community WILL BE PERFORMED once we know what we have to work with and once we can begin work on the endeavor.   As stated prior, we do not know exactly what we will have left so we are unable to provide any plans or sketches as to what may eventually be constructed.  Once we know what we have to work with is established, the board will engage the entire Stone Creek community to provide input on how to recreate our entrance.

We ask for everyone’s patience during this trying process.  In addition to the aesthetic and physical inconveniences during this time, it is the responsibility of the board to inform all residents that the HOA will endure significant financial costs during this work.  All costs associated with salvaging landscaping and removing or relocating utilities and improvements are to be borne by the HOA.  You have probably seen the landscaping work that has been done to date.  While incomplete (the stack of stones and fill dirt will be relocated once a suitable solution is determined) it is just the start of changes you will see in coming months.  Estimates are currently being solicited for taking down walls and relocating utilities.  Once construction on the highway is complete, we will need to pay for replacing the improvements.  Preliminary estimates start at $15,000 and are climbing for this work but without a final plan on what is being built, these estimates are very dynamic.

If you should have questions about the work either now or during construction, please do not hesitate to contact the board.  We will do everything we can to provide you with an answer, but please understand that the Stone Creek HOA does not even have a seat at the table when overall 289 decisions are being made by TxDOT and the Town of Prosper.  We can voice our concerns and objections, but we have limited recourse.

The Stone Creek HOA has been provided with a set of drawing for the entire project consisting of over 500 pages.  We are culling the set to pull out just the drawings that affect our community.  Once that is completed we will provide a link to the drawings on the website.

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