Agenda Item Cover Sheet

Agenda Item #04


Regular Item


Consent Item


Workshop Item

Item Submitted By:

Edwin Hard, Transportation Planner

Council Meeting Date:

May 11, 2000

Director Approval:

Jim Callaway, Development Services Director

City Manager Approval:


Item: Presentation, discussion and possible action on the possible participation in the TXDOT Landscape Cost Sharing Program to develop raised, streetscaped medians on George Bush Drive.

Item Summary: The Texas Department of Transportation is preparing a pavement rehabilitation project for George Bush Drive from Texas Avenue to Wellborn Road. The project scope is limited to pavement rehab and spot repair on damaged curb and gutter. Staff requested that TXDOT consider adding raised medians into the project. TXDOT said they could not be added since medians were not included in the project budget. However, TXDOT has since informed staff that raised medians could be developed on Bush as a follow-up project using their Landscape Cost Sharing Program. This program makes funds available whereby the City and TXDOT would share equally in the cost of developing the medians.

TXDOT is scheduled to begin construction on the Bush rehab in January of 2001. If the Council would like to add medians on Bush, TXDOT staff needs to know as soon as possible in order to design the rehab project to accommodate the future raised medians.

Staff will present conceptual median locations at the Workshop. The addition of medians on Bush between Texas Avenue and Wellborn Road could impact property owners and businesses along this thoroughfare. Medians could also be used to limit cut-through traffic in the Southside area.

Item Background: The addition of medians on Bush serves both traffic management and aesthetic purposes. This portion of Bush has high visibility due to the location alongside Texas A&M and as a designated route to the George Bush Presidential Library. The pavement rehab project along with the subsequent addition of medians provides an opportunity to address safety and community appearance issues.

The Landscape Cost Sharing Program is a statewide TXDOT program that has a certain amount of funding available on an annual basis. These funds are provided to eligible projects on a first come, first serve basis. If directed by Council, staff will develop and submit an application for the program and work with TXDOT to develop designs for medians using brick pavers and landscaping similar to that in Texas Avenue and University Drive. While there is no guarantee that funds will still be available, TXDOT says if we submit an application soon our chances are good.

Installation of medians in this highly visible area would be consistent with the Streetscape Plan adopted by Council.

Budgetary and Financial Summary: TXDOTís preliminary estimate to develop and construct the medians is $700,000, which would make the Cityís share roughly $350,000. This is not a budgeted project so funding would have to come from other existing appropriations. Potential sources include:

The City has $392,500 budgeted for streetscape enhancements in TXDOTís upcoming widening of University Drive. TXDOT currently estimates approximately $150,000 for the Cityís streetscape portion in this project, thus $242,500 of these appropriated funds could be transferred to medians on Bush.

Additional funding of $107,500 could come from the fund balance available in the General Fund. If this funding source is used, then this item will be included in the budget amendment scheduled to come to the City Council next month so the funds can be appropriated for this project.

The above two sources would provide $350,000 that could be transferred to cover the Cityís share of the Landscape Cost Sharing Program for medians in George Bush Drive.

Staff Recommendations: Staff recommends approval.


Council Action Options:

1. Direct staff to develop median plans and Landscape Cost Sharing application.

2. Direct staff not to proceed with median project.