Phase two of Kemp Monroe Drainage Project could begin soon

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - An $8.3 million project to fix a long-running problem in Wichita Falls is halfway complete.

On Tuesday city councilors will consider awarding a $4.1 million project to MH Civil Constructors Inc. for phase two of the Kemp Monroe Drainage project.

Phase one was recently completed and city leaders are excited to keep this project moving.

"We'll have blocks that will have to be closed in order to put the drainage underground," Deputy Director of Public Works, Teresa Rose said. "That's the goal of this project, to get most of the drainage underneath the ground so it is safer for people to traffic on the streets."

Ten years ago Wichita Falls city leaders created a drainage master plan.

The Kemp Monroe drainage project was second on their list behind the completed McNiel drainage project.

That's because flooding waters can get over four inches in the Avenue's and along Kemp Boulevard.

"Most of the drainage throughout this area is surface drainage," Rose said. "That means you get inches of rainwater going through the streets which can be very dangerous for motorists."

Construction for phase one began in the spring of 2017 on Taylor, Polk, and Monroe to stop the problem.

"If we can get the water below two inches then it's safe for people to drive through the water as they go on the street to try to get to their homes and so forth," Rose said.

She said it's more than just a drainage project.

"It is improving the drainage through the area," Rose said. "But it's also improving the infrastructure, improving the streets that the drainage is being put under, improving driver approaches, and improving the sidewalks. It's just really looking a lot better for the neighborhood."

Rose said they're always concerned about the flooding on Kemp, and is eager for the problem to go away.

"It's just like a cook in the kitchen," she said. "You've got to make a mess to make a masterpiece. Be patient with the construction because as you can see with the ending of phase one, you can see how good it will look when we're done with the project and how much better it will be."

Right now there is no starting date for phase two, but it's expected to take a year to complete.

Rose said once the Kemp and Monroe Drainage Project is finished they can start focusing on other maintenance issues throughout the city.

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