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Feeling a bit depressed: Town council discusses SH 190 route elevation
Despite a main focus on SH 190 route elevation by the Sunnyvale Town Council, concern on route selection remains as residents continue to voice their concerns.
During the Monday night Sunnyvale Town Council meeting, the council focused on how it wants to approach the Texas department of Transportation in regards to where the roadway will be elevated and where it will be depressed to ease impact on surrounding areas.
"We are going to strongly impress upon TxDOT the need to depress the route when technically possible," said Mayor Jim Phaup.
Mayor pro tem Karen Hill has recused herself from the discussion, on grounds of conflict of interest, and took a seat in the front row in the council chamber.
The SH 190 committee presented the council with their recommendation three months ago and now the council is going through the process to decide if they will follow that recommendation of the committee or chose another option to recommend to the TxDOT. During a recent council meeting the council decided to direct further conversations regarding the route to pertain to route 2.
The SH 190 committee reviewed three routes that TxDOT said had been environmentally acceptable to have the tollway run. Route 2, which the committee picked, takes the tollway down the eastern edge of Sunnyvale along shoreline of Lake Ray Hubbard. Routes 1 and 3 take similar routes down the Duck Creek floodplain. All three routes have significant portions of roadway that they wish to elevate.
The committee recommend that when the council talks to TxDOT on the issues of route elevation that the council stand firm on the fact that all routes need to be depressed where it is technically feasible and at no cost to the town itself.
As pointed out by resident members there is concern that this can range from anywhere to getting the roadways up above possible flood waters, to higher bridges running through the town. I
"Depression of the road is a key piece of our plan and insist that it is depressed where possible," Walt Thomas said. "We need to be aggressive on the matter."
And while the council and residents have not always seen eye to eye on all of the issues surrounding SH 190, there was some consensus met as both residents and council members wished be aggesive with TxDOT in regards to depressing the route through Sunnyvale.
"I think the depression is a common sense deal to get it a depressed as much as we can, it just comes down to engineering," said Councilmember Ronnie Henderson. "If it is going to reduce sound and light and cut down on impact, I think we need to make it strongly worded in that regards."
A schedule was set at earlier meeting on when and which topics will be discussed. The council has discussed the SH190 issue at the past three meetings and will continue to do so at the upcoming two meetings. Phaup said while it is not confirmed they hope to have a representative from TxDOT at the meeting to which more technical questions may be answered. The final plan is to have a working draft for the recommendation they would send to TxDOT on Dec. 10.
There also a letter that was issued by the Dallas Water Utilities who owns some of the land along the proposed route 2 that indicates that they are against any route that comes on or near their property, which might influence TxDOT's ultimate decision.
Phaup said in a recent meeting TxDOT's representatives said nothing firm in whether the letter on DWU's will influence their route selection.
"[According to TxDOT] It was just a matter of the right thing to do to examine the concerns of the Dallas Water Utility," Phaup said. "While they want to take the DWU letter seriously and they will, he did not believe any of the technical issues they would have to address would have a significant impact."