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Cottonwood Shores making main intersection more driver-friendly

Cottonwood Shores making main intersection more driver-friendly

The city of Cottonwood Shores is fine-tuning the Dutch Leming Lane and Cottonwood Drive intersection to make it more driver-friendly. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

The city of Cottonwood Shores is changing the configuration of its main intersection to better accommodate drivers.

The project addresses issues at the intersection of Dutch Leming Lane and Cottonwood Drive, a main entrance to the city, just north of the FM 2147 traffic light. It calls for giving drivers turning east off of northbound Dutch Leming Lane onto Cottonwood Drive a little more space for better line of sight and maneuverability.

Councilors approved the plan during their Thursday, April 1, meeting,

“We have to do something,” City Administrator J.C. Hughes said. “That is our major intersection, and it needs to be more accommodating.”

The improvements, which will cost about $49,000, include creating 3 feet of space alongside Dutch Leming’s left-turn lane to make it easier for drivers turning east onto Cottonwood Drive.

The city will carve out the 3 feet from the 15-foot left-turn lane. Once the changes are made, the northbound lanes of Dutch Leming coming off of FM 2147 will both be 12 feet wide. The southbound lane from Cottonwood Drive to FM 2147 will remain 18 feet wide.

City officials are calling it a temporary fix, but it will help drivers of school buses, long trucks, and other work-related vehicles. 

“We want to do something temporary until we have a more permanent fix,” Hughes said. 

Other road work includes: 

  • installing 13-inch street culverts for drainage basins north and south of the 600 block of Driftwood Lane; 
  • installing 30-foot culverts at the entry drive of lift station No. 1;
  • installing 24-inch culverts on Lakeview Drive, west of Driftwood Lane;
  • chip sealing Northwood Drive, Southwood Drive, Eastwood Drive, and the 600 block of Pine Lane;
  • annual pothole and street repairs;
  • and adding the base and chip sealing the cul-de-sac at Noah Thompson Park as well as the base to parking area.

In other news, Mayor Donald Orr gave the council a report on where the city is on its fiscal budget, which includes a $57,000 deficit due to damages from the February winter ice storm and work at the water plant to bring it into compliance with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 

Hughes said city administrators were bracing for TCEQ feedback since the water plant is a year old, so they weren’t surprised. Cottonwood Shores was one of several municipalities that suffered water system issues from frozen pipes in February. 

“When the storm hit, that really hit us hard with the overtime and equipment problems,” he said. “We are filing with our insurance on most of that, so we should get most of it back. What we don’t get back from insurance, we’ll get from (the Federal Emergency Management Agency).”

The overtime alone cost the city $20,000, he said, which is being covered by insurance. Because city leaders had money in savings, everything at City Hall is operating as business as usual.

“We had three months of operating expenses (for the unexpected),” Hughes said. “Thank goodness we were in good shape there.”

In other business, the council also:

  • named Andrea Stephens and Gary Black Outstanding Citizens of the Year for their volunteerism;
  • were given a tutorial on how to use the new Code of Ordinance page on the city website by Kirk Franklin of Franklin Legal Publishing;
  • and voted for a single line item of $25.25 on monthly utility bills that includes a $24.25 trash fee and a $1 recycling fee, both from Waste Management. 

Waste Management will begin picking up the old trash bins in the next 4-6 weeks and replacing them with its own trash carts.

jfierro@thepicayune.com