The city of Terrell on Tuesday signed an agreement with Kaufman County that will provide the city with $8.45 million in transportation funds – funds that ultimately will help leverage another $34.35 million.

The money will be directed at two major projects aimed at improving downtown as well as one that extends Los Lomas Parkway to U.S.  Hwy. 80.

The money from the county comes from the $101 million transportation bond issue approved by voters in November 2019. Of the $8.45 million heading to the city, $6.45 million comes from the county’s 2020 issuance. Another $2 million will be issued to the city at a future time.

The remaining money needed for the projects is expected to be a combination of locally generated dollars as well as funds from TxDOT and the North Central Texas Regional Transportation Council, according to City Manager Mike Sims.

One downtown project is called “Complete Streets,” which was identified by the city’s Parks and Downtown Improvement Corp. (PADIC) board in November as a high dollar, long-term project worth pursuing. The idea involves transformation of Moore Avenue to effectively promote downtown, making it more amiable to businesses and pedestrians.

The downtown area under consideration for “Complete Streets” is U.S. 80 from Bowser to Delis streets and Spur 226 from High to Rochester streets. The project will entail complete street design and construction. A cost estimate places the project at $17.25 million. Of the $8.45 in county road funds, $750,000 will be devoted to that project. Another $16.5 million will come from other sources.

Another project aimed at improving Terrell’s downtown as well as other places in the city is the establishment of Union Pacific Railroad “Quiet Zones.” The planned $10 million project relies on $2 million in county road funds and $8 million from other sources. The estimated $10 million will pay for the study, design and construction of “Quiet Zones.”

“I think it’s transformative for our downtown to be able to access that much money for complete streets on U.S. 80 and on Spur 226,” said Sims. “I think we’ll look back on that as one of the most important projects that we ever do, that in combination with the quiet zones project is a huge difference maker for our downtown.”

The extension of Los Lomas Parkway to U.S. 80 carries a preliminary price tag of $15.5 million. The city wants to eventually build a major new intersection at U.S. 80 and extension of Los Lomas Parkway.

Sims called it a “very important regional transportation project.” The funding mix calls for $3.7 million in county road funding, another $2 million in the future, and $9.85 million in other funds.

Sims told the council that he expects engineering recommendations to come before the council this spring.

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