LOCAL GOVERNMENT

BELTON — Up to 15 water infrastructure pieces will have to be moved as the widening of Loop 121 approaches.

The Belton Council, in a recent unanimous decision, approved an $84,500 contract with the Temple-based KPA Engineers to design the relocation of the water features.

“With the (Texas Department of Transportation)widening of Loop 121 phase one from FM 439 to (Interstate 14)and Avenue O, the city of Belton is going to have to relocate 14 confirmed utility conflicts and one potential conflict,” Assistant Public Works Director Jeremy Allamon said. “We have a pretty tight timeframe to do this.”

Design must be done by November. The city will have to tap a company to move the water lines by December.

“This is a very aggressive schedule for design services. Because of that, we want to do external engineering services to complete this,” the assistant public works director said.

Construction has to be underway in January and be completed by May.

“And will begin a month or so after that takes place,” Allamon said.

“That’s tight,” Mayor Marion Grayson responded.

TxDOT is expected to expand Loop 121 to four lanes and add sidewalks from Sparta Road to Interstate 35. Currently, the state road consists of a four-lane, undivided section from FM 439 to Sparta Road and a two-lane, undivided section with turn lanes from Sparta Road to I-35.

The project will be split into two pieces.

The largest part is from I-35 to Sparta Road. TxDOT plans to widen it to four lanes, divided by a grassy median.

The other piece is from Lake Road, also known as FM 439, to Sparta Road. This section is expected to have five lanes, with two lanes in each direction and a center turn lane.

“So the relocations are approximately from the southeast corner of the intersection of FM 439 (and Loop 121) and are located at various locations along Loop 121 with the southernmost conflict near the Valero at I-14,” Allamon said. “These conflicts are anything minor (such as) relocated valves and fire hydrants to relocating water mains. Mainly, most of our conflicts are dealing with storm water.”

Allamon stressed that no new water lines will be added during this project.

“This is just relocating what (TxDOT has) shown to us through this process,” he said.