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McNiel Drainage Project nears completion

Time: 2016-01-04



After nearly 1½ years of construction, the McNiel Drainage Project may be wrapping up before the new year.

Wichita Falls Public Works Director Russell Shreiber said crews were stepping up efforts to get the project completed this week.

He said there have been some delays because of moisture levels in the subgrade during work.

The $6.5 million project began in August 2014 to improve underground drainage and reconstruct open channels along the road.

Construction started at the intersection of Southwest Parkway and McNiel and extends to Phillips Avenue at Cunningham Elementary School.

Improvements consist of reinforced box culverts, curb inlets, water and sewer relocation, and pavement replacement.

The project has goals of improving drainage in the area and lessening traffic congestion.

Other work in the area will include changing out the streetlights to LED lamps and a mill/overlap of the road from Pool Street to Call Field Road.

The McNiel project was completed in five phases to maintain access to residents in the area.

The project was paid for largely from stormwater drainage fees paid by city residents.

The City Council approved a hike in stormwater drainage fees from $3.55 to $5 in the 2015-2016 annual budget.

With $33 million worth of capital improvements needed in the city, Schreiber said at the previous rate it would take more than 22 years to accomplish all its goals.

Raising the fee could shave off eight to 12 years on that time frame, he said.

The next large drainage improvement effort will be the Kemp/Monroe area at a cost of about $7.5 million.

This plan includes underground piping and culvert improvements for better flow of stormwater.

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