Maplewood back open, new construction project coming soon

Maplewood back open, new construction project coming soon

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - The Maplewood construction in Wichita Falls finished Tuesday.

In March, TxDOT started the $1.3 million project to replace the existing culverts with wider ones and add sidewalks.

Adele Lewis, TxDOT Public Information Officer, said this is a Federal Bridge Replacement Program project.  That means the federal government and the state is paying 90-percent of the bill.  The other 10-percent has to be paid for by the city, or they can go out and do $130,000 worth of work replacing or repairing another bridge or culvert.

Many, like James Childs who lives on Peach Tree Lane right off of Maplewood, are glad the road is open.  Childs said because it was a little confusing at times.

"When you're used to using that, and you get to Maplewood, and you forget they're working on it," said Childs.

He said then you have to go back around, and go over to Kemp.

"It kind of caused traffic jams on the access roads, especially around noon or getting off work time," he said.

An inconvenience he said was worth it.

"Not just because traffic will go smoother now, but because the bridge has opened up wider," Childs said. "In the case of large rain, we're less likely to get flooding here in our area."

He adds that is a plus as far as he is concerned.

Lewis said a plus for them is the contractor finished about two months early.

TxDOT offered the company a $15,000 incentive if they could make that happen.

That same company will soon take on another project in Wichita Falls, closing more ditches on Southwest Parkway.

"It breads mosquitoes, it doesn't provide much safety because we're driving against that railing," said Lewis.

She said by enclosing the ditch, there will also be a lot more room for lanes and a sidewalk.

A portion has been done already from Hughes to McNiel Avenue.

Next, they will work on the one from McNiel and Rhea Road, which is expected to start this Fall and cost about $4.5 million.

Then, they will start on the Rhea Road ditch that goes all the way to Kemp Street.  That portion is expected to start in 2020 and cost an estimated $7 million.

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