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First Step in McNiel Drainage Project to Start Next Month

With a severe drought underway, flooding is probably not something Wichita Falls residents have on their radar right now, but the city is making plans to prevent future problems for when the rain does come.
With a severe drought underway, flooding is probably not something Wichita Falls residents have on their radar right now, but the city is making plans to prevent future problems for when the rain does come.

Two years after being approved, plans to install drainage around McNeil Avenue are moving forward.

It's something folks in University Park are used to when it rains- water rushing down streets and sometimes into homes.

But since we're high and dry right now the city is taking steps to prevent the flooding that often comes during storms.

A mile of new drainage will be installed underground on McNiel from Southwest Parkway to right past Cunningham Elementary on Phillips.

”It's concrete boxes, 3 feet wide 6 feet deep, basically is going to consume the entire street. We will replace everything from the sidewalk to the sidewalk, we're gonna replace all the sidewalk all the gutter, all the approaches to the driveways, everything when we come on down there,” says Wichita Falls Director of Public Works, Russell Schreiber.

But before that work can begin, sewer lines at Moffet Avenue and Rugley Street need to be lifted, raising the cost of the project. And while the roads are being worked on..frustration for neighbors could be high.

“Traffic flow through there is gonna be extremely difficult. It's gonna take a huge amount of coordination between the contractor, the city and the residence. It's going to be very disruptive,” says Schreiber.

“Very big problem, how are we supposed to manage that when it's all torn up through here, kids gotta go to school. Gotta go to work, I don't understand how we'll deal with it,” says McNiel resident Jackie McQuerry.

Schreiber says the city will help residents as much as possible.

“It is our intention, once we get the final design finished, it will be our intention to have a neighborhood meeting out there, talk to them,” says Schreiber.

Despite the inconvenience the construction will bring, one resident says she is thrilled McNiel is getting better drainage.

“The flooding has got so bad that it's come up from the street into the house, into the kitchen and the den, it'd be about ankle deep,” says McNiel Resident Ruth Dunhgan.

The project is expected to be finished by December 2015 and will cost five million dollars.

Bids for Moffet Street will begin in October.
 


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