Finding Middle Ground at FM 1179

By  | 

The City of Bryan and TXDoT are getting back to the drawing board on improvements to FM 1179, and potential next steps are already being plotted.

While both the city of Bryan and TXDoT could not initially agree on a project to improve traffic on Briarcrest and Villa Maria, both sides are thinking ahead.

According to Bryan Transportation Planner John Dean, the city's suggestion could very well be a phased widening project, much like Texas Avenue in College Station.

"Rather than have to take and come up with the money all at once, you could take and phase it in and do just one section of it," said Dean.

TXDoT has told the city that widening FM 1179 would be extremely costly and likely out of the realm of possibility. Their plan, met with disapproval by Bryan's city council Tuesday night, would involved medians and turn lanes.

Dean says their studies have shown it's a short term solution to a road that will see its already busy traffic flow increase by about half in the next couple of decades.

"It's quite forseeable that you could spend this money on this corridor and in a very short time, just a couple of years, have to do something to it again," Dean said.

TXDoT officials say if the two sides can't iron out an agreement, they'd likely take their case to the Metropolitan Planning Organization for guidance. Options could include reallocating the funds to another project, but TXDoT officials say this street definitely needs work.

"The traffic counts that are there warrant a widening project as they stand today, and what TXDoT's projecting into the future, it definitely needs some added attention," Dean said.

While they haven't agreed on plans yet, both sides can agree that something must be done.

If the money for FM 1179 were to be reallocated, both sides say one possibility would be using the money for the upcoming Old Reliance Road project at Highway 6.