Rejoice, League City residents. Calder Road, which has been the site of four capital improvement projects since 2014, is officially open to traffic again.
Members of the city staff and council in February were in a celebratory mood, passing out coffee and commemorative shirts saying “I survived Calder Road construction,” to residents and other passersby.
“It feels great,” City Manager John Baumgartner said. “We aren’t quite done yet — there are still a few weeks to finish the sidewalks and some re-striping — but the timing couldn’t be better, with all the construction on Interstate 45.”
Houston-based Dannenbaum Engineering Corp. paid for 200 of the Calder Road shirts, Baumgartner said.
The construction on Calder Road has long been an annoyance to residents living in the area who were initially told the four-stage project would last about 18 months.
The project is actually four separate capital improvement projects, the last of which began in January 2017 and involved reconstructing Calder Road itself for about 1.6 miles between Ervin Street to Turner Road, converting it from an open-ditch rural roadway to a concrete, curb-and-gutter roadway with storm sewers, said Sarah Greer Osborne, spokeswoman for the city.
But the project, which cost more than $24 million, first began in 2014, and included rehabilitating a water pipeline, improving sanitary sewer lines, constructing a new water pump station and improvements to the street itself.
The project first began in 2014 as a joint effort with Galveston County to help move traffic between League City Parkway and FM 517.
But the project has been beset with delays. The city gave Minnesota-based contractor S.J. Louis Construction of Texas a $2.6 million contract to complete a 30-inch sanitary sewer improvement project in August 2015 and an additional $87,000 in a change order the same day. While that phase was initially projected to last six months, it stretched almost two years.
A $12.5 million project to build a booster pump station began in August 2014 and ended in June 2017.
The final stage of the project, reconstructing the road itself, began when the council approved an $8.28 million contract with Texas Sterling Construction Co., based in The Woodlands, in December 2016 and work began in January, officials said.
“We had a bus driver stop by today who goes to Calder Elementary and said she was very grateful to have the work done,” Baumgartner said. “We couldn’t have done this without everyone’s patience.”
Residents might be especially glad to have Calder Road open again, given the Texas Department of Transportation project near FM 646, Baumgartner said.
Crews demolished the FM 646 bridge on March 1 as part of an ongoing project to expand Interstate 45 from six lanes up to eight lanes of traffic in Galveston County, department officials have said.
Crews are taking down the overpass at FM 646 over Interstate 45 with plans to eventually replace it with a street running under the interstate, officials said.
The FM 646 project is part of a $120 million project to widen the interstate between FM 517 and FM 518, officials said. The plan to widen Interstate 45 through Galveston County is divided into several different phases.