McNiel Drainage/Southwest Parkway Improvement Project Begins

Work is scheduled to begin Monday at a busy Wichita Falls intersection and it could affect traffic flow for several months. The city will begin the drainage and street improvement project at Southwest Parkway and McNiel. West bound traffic on Southwest Parkway will be reduced to two lanes and portions of McNiel north of Southwest Parkway will be closed on and off during the project.

Demolition is the first part of the McNiel Drainage/Southwest Parkway Improvement Project.

Engineer Jeff Hill said, "We have to take out the existing trapezoidal channel, we've got an open channel that runs up Southwest Parkway. We'll be ripping all of that out."

Each phase of the five phase project will shut down a different portion of McNiel, making it tough for residents.

"Parts of McNiel at points will be closed for 3-4 months at a time, Southwest Parkway for that first phase for the first 3-4 months, will be closed that further most, the northerly most traveled lane will be closed and there may be periods where the second lane will be closed temporarily," Hill explained.

But the city has worked with residents to make the transition as easy as possible and officials say residents feel like the inconvenience will be worth it in the end.

"People were anxious to get this done, a lot of people have had problems with water, flooding in the best so they really wanted to see the project done, realizing it will be a big impact on their front yard," said Hill.

Officials have also worked with schools to make sure everything runs smoothly since McNiel will be torn up from sidewalk to sidewalk.

"Coordinated with the bus schedules the bus barn to make sure to make sure there buses will be rerouted a different way," said Hill.

Local post offices have also been told what to expect so that residents' mail will arrive on time, trying to make this much needed, yet large project as easy as possible on everyone involved.

The project is expected to last about 18 months and cost about 6 and a half million dollars. TxDOT is covering some of that cost.

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