County in final stages of land buys for E. Loop

Maggie Fraser/WD Photo

Parker County is in the final stages of land acquisition for the East Loop, the county’s engineering consultant told the commissioners court Monday.

“Of the 65 parcels acquired for the loop, there are 12 parcels remaining. We anticipate five of those will close in the next 30 days, and the seven remaining will go through the legal process,” County Engineering Consultant Tim Sansone said. “There are 35 structures in all we plan to demolish for the loop.”

Eleven of the structures tested positive for asbestos and 17 had hazardous waste, which will have to be removed before the buildings are demolished, according to a report by Freese and Nichols. 

“They’re not all houses. Many of them are sheds or similar structures. But they’ve all been tested for asbestos and hazardous waste in accordance with the law,” Sansone said. “That test came back that we have 11 buildings that need to have asbestos removed. In the next few days, we’ll advertise a project to bid a contractor to remove the asbestos before the demolition can go on.

“Our goal is to demolish these as quickly as possible, and clear the right of way.”

The East Loop – a $56.6 million bond project approved by voters in 2016 – will connect I-20 with Farm-to-Market Road 51 and merge with the West Loop (Ric Williamson Memorial Highway), County Judge Mark Riley said in a previous interview with the Democrat.

“The West Loop has proven to be tremendously successful. There are almost 11,000 vehicles per day that use the loop,” he said. “If the East Loop is built it will connect with the West Loop and provide a tremendous benefit to improving the traffic congestion in the county.”