Weatherford Democrat

October 18, 2012

Hudson Oaks discusses median project

Brian Smith

HUDSON OAKS — Business owners in Hudson Oaks were interested in how the Middle Median Project would affect them and came out Tuesday morning to discuss it.

Work on the project is progressing now that a TxDOT grant has been approved by the federal government, accounting for $216,000 of the expected $853,000 project cost. Assistant City Administrator Patrick Lawler said the project has been put on the front burner as far as city goals are concerned.

“We will be starting construction in November,” Lawler said. “We’ve been talking about this since 2008 and now it’s time to put it in action.”

Mayor Pat Deen said a business identification and a similar aesthetic is in the city’s Comprehensive Plan. It was simply a waiting game as to when the city could afford the project.

“The TxDOT grant really helped seal the deal,” Deen said.

Lawler said the project is scheduled for 280 days but doesn’t expect it to take that long. He said plans are to have the project completed by July 4 for the Boomin 4th celebration.

All 1.2 miles of median in Hudson Oaks will be landscaped under the project with vertical City of Hudson Oaks signs being placed in the Lake Shore Drive median and between Hilltop Shell and Kwik Car Care. All the medians will have a similar treatment, so it will be easily recognizable when visitors come into the city.

“A common aesthetic was listed as very important when we began starting this,” Lawler said.

The city will be using three different kinds of trees in the project: Chinese pistache, which has red tinted leaves in the fall and spring, bur oak and desert willow which will be used around signs.

All the current asphalt used in the medians will be torn out with stamp concrete put in to eliminate the curbs which are not exactly eye-catching, Lawler said. Buffalo grass will be installed in the medians with the city taking over mowing of all medians along the corridor.

“Right now the city cuts about half and business owners, mainly the dealerships, do about half as well,” Lawler said. “We’re presently mowing about once a week but with the buffalo grass being installed it will be done about every six weeks.”

Lane closures will be a necessary but minimally invasive part of the project with much of that being done during the tearing out and replacing of curbs. Only one lane in a direction will be closed at any given time, Lawler said.

He encouraged business owners to let the city know if the construction was becoming an issue as the city is primarily responsible for the project and not TxDOT.