Azalea extension

An extension to the eastern side of Azalea Drive near Temple Mall is expected to be completed later this fall.

Motorists traveling east to west in South Temple will soon have another route as the city moves forward with a new road extension.

The extension of Azalea Drive, between the Temple Mall and the Walmart on South 31st Street, is now nearing the end of completion of its first phase between 31st and Lowes Drive.

City officials have said the goal of the project is to extend Azalea from 31st Street in the west to Fifth Street in the east.

The project was approved by the Temple City Council in June 2018, as the city partnered with developer Patco Construction for the first phase. Patco is building a residential development near the new road, and has taken responsibility for the extension of 13th Street.

The city contributed more than $1.35 million for the extension of Azalea.

“We are participating financially in the project, since it is a major collector, but the developer is actually doing the construction,” City Manager Brynn Myers said. “We anticipate that it will be completed sometime in the fall of this year, so relatively quickly.”

Patco , which is building a new housing development called The Reserve at Friars Creek, entered into the agreement because of its construction of the new subdivision.

In addition to the eastern extension of Azalea, the city also has plans for improvements to the street where it is fragmented in front of Walmart . This next phase of the project will use donated right of way to fully connect the street to 31st Street.

This change, which is estimated to cost the city $1.3 million, will attempt to fix a traffic-flow issue that residents have complained about to the city. Myers said the city will start the bidding of the construction contract in the next month or two.

City Councilwoman Susan Long said she is excited for both extensions to Azalea, especially for the connection to 31st Street.

“There are just so many points that come together (near the mall) with stop signs that it is just a free-for-all when it is really busy,” Long said. “Anything that improves that is wonderful and long awaited.”

smonaco@tdtnews.com