The City of Irving’s highways and major thoroughfares are turning orange with roadwork signs and traffic cones. Soon, the southwest Irving streets of Hard Rock Road and Pioneer Drive will see the impact of road construction.
On June 22, the Irving City Council approved an engineering professional services agreement for $725,115 for the design of changes to Hard Rock Road and Pioneer Drive. The project will include the second portion (or phase 2A) of improvements. Phase one of the project, between Hard Rock and Conflans roads, was completed in 2012. The improvements will include the expansion of Pioneer Drive from a two-lane to a four-lane divided street, as well as the expansion of Hard Rock Road from a two-lane to a three-lane undivided street. The project also will include the installation of drainage channels, larger water and wastewater pipelines, sidewalks and street lamps.
The project is part of the Road to the Future: $100 Million in 5 Years program and will include the city’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP), Water Utilities and Traffic and Transportation departments. Once the design is approved and construction begins, the project will total $6 million — with $1.25 million in assistance from Dallas County. The county is funding a portion of the project because Hard Rock Road serves as a frontage road for State Highway 161. Construction is slated to begin in the summer of 2018, and the project will likely take a year to complete.
Assessing the Land
While the project is still in the preliminary stage, the city’s CIP Department has noted several key components in need of improvement within the area including upgrades to streets, water and wastewater pipelines, and drainage.
The area is adjacent to Wildbriar Lake, which runs parallel to Hard Rock Road, as well as several residential communities.
The city’s engineering contract will include a geotechnical investigation of the soil to determine the materials present in the area, such as clay, sand, etc. The soil test will assess the expansiveness or moisture content of the area. It also will help designers determine the necessary thickness of the pavement, which materials would be most effective, and how many layers of steel to include in the construction of the roadway.
The city anticipates undergrounding the utility lines that cross Hard Rock Road, as well as pushing back utility poles that run parallel to the affected streets. A key goal of the project is to improve the drive, as well as the quality of life for the residents who live in and around the area.
Moving the Water
With Wildbriar Lake so close to the construction site, the city will test the pH levels of the water before, during and after infrastructure and roadwork begins. The testing will help protect the integrity of the reservoir and the health of the plants and wildlife within it.
Aside from road expansion, improving pipelines and drainage in the area will remain a point of focus for the city. In recent years, private development growth has increased the need for large, concrete box culverts for stormwater drainage, as well as larger water and wastewater pipelines. With impending road construction and the installation of pipelines, the city is looking toward the future by funding and building infrastructure that will sustain residential and commercial growth.
Once construction begins, the deepest utilities will be installed first including pipelines, electric utilities and gas lines. During this phase, drivers and residents in the area will experience lane closures. However, the city will ensure that all residents will be able to get in and out of their driveways safely.
Once the project is underway, the city plans to hold neighborhood and stakeholder meetings for area residents and business owners to visit with city staff on the design process of the planned construction.
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