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Hereford road expansion hits speed bump

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Hereford, TX -- An ongoing expansion project in Hereford has hit a roadblock, and now the city is weighing its options to deal with it.

Hereford has seen significant growth over the last few years, with new housing developments and an upcoming Amarillo College campus expansion on the west side of town.  And City Manager Rick Hanna says to accommodate recent and future growth, one of their main arteries needs to extend farther.

"15th Street now is actually a collector street," says Hanna, "and the traffic volume is becoming substantial, and when Amarillo College opens it'll really increase."

The 15th Street expansion project began about a year ago, with a total price tag of about $1.2 million.  L.A. Fuller & Sons of Amarillo was initially contracted for the project, but city engineers say progress isn't meeting expectations.

"Drainage is inadequate," says Hanna, "The way it's designed, the streets should drain storm water, and it ponds instead of draining off. During the summertime, that's an annoyance, but during the wintertime it's very dangerous - it freezes and thaws, and makes it very slick."

So in a July 8th meeting, commissioners unanimously authorized the city manager to terminate the contract and hire a replacement if necessary.  Correcting the problem would cost an estimated $250,000, but that should be covered by bond insurance.

The new Amarillo College facility on 15th street is scheduled for completion in 2014, so commissioners are working to make sure the road is complete before then.

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