Gateway: Lewisville seeking bid again

Published 10:40 am Tuesday, February 22, 2022

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 Lewisville-Vienna/Robinhood Road roundabout project now looks at construction in 2023

By Jim Buice
For the Clemmons Courier

After opening the month of February with a discussion on a variety of topics in its retreat, the Town of Lewisville turned its attention to delayed projects with higher price tags.

That starts with the Williams Road Gateway Project, which was delayed in 2020 with the onset of the pandemic and then met with lack of response in 2021 because of the overall state of the economy and contractors being overwhelmed with work, according to Town Manager Hank Perkins.

Two different times, the project was advertised last year, and no bids were received either time for the long-awaited project, which is highlighted by the widening of Williams Road and implementing a complete street design from the roundabout at Concord Church Road south of the bridge over U.S. 421 to the roundabout at Shallowford Road.

In the monthly February Town Council meeting, Perkins said that re-advertisement of the project was going out Sunday with a pre-bid meeting scheduled on March 8 and bid opening on March 24. By the April 14 meeting, Perkins said, ‘’Hopefully, cross your fingers, somebody will give us a good price, and we’ll have this thing going.”

Mayor Mike Horn said that Lewisville continues to confront what “every project in N.C. is going to face. Right now it’s a contractor market. They can pretty much name whatever they want to name. It’s gone out twice and had no company bid on it. So we’ve made some changes in the bid package that hopefully will attract some bidders this time.”

The project includes the following components:

• From Concord Church Road to the U.S. 421 North interchange roundabout, curb and gutter will be added along Williams Road.

• From the U.S. 421 North interchange roundabout to the roundabout at Shallowford Road, Williams Road will be widened to three lanes with curb and gutter, a median and bike lanes.

• Sidewalks will be added on both sides, with the western sidewalk connecting the sidewalk on the bridge to the roundabout at Concord Church Road.

• Landscaping will be included north of U.S. 421, including a gateway feature entering Lewisville from the highway.

As for the original timeline for the project, which was unveiled late in 2018 with an estimated cost of $1.5 million, construction was slated to start in 2020. This is a project utilizing federal STP-DA funds with 80% of the expected costs coming from federal aid and a 20% local match of close to $300,000.

“Unfortunately, we do not have a new estimated cost for 2022, but we do anticipate an increase,” Town Planner Stacy Tolbert said. “At this point, we just have to wait and see what amount the bids are for. We are hoping for a more successful bid attempt this round.”

In another development involving roads, the roundabout at Lewisville-Vienna/Robinhood Road, which was originally scheduled to coincide with the opening of the new school in 2021 but later pushed back a year to 2022, is now at least another year away because of further delays with NCDOT funding.

“Hopefully, construction in 2023,” Horn said. “Right-of-way acquisition is underway now. We were originally trying to time this with the opening of the school last year and the roundabout being completed, but because the DOT funding was basically frozen, that bumped the project back.

“The roundabout is important because it takes people coming from the new Conrad Farms development with 300 homes and lots of growth out in that direction, and also the Lewisville-Vienna, Pfafftown communities and Robinhood Road with the traffic there. Part of it is driven by the school, but that’s only a couple of times a day, but with all the growth, the signalized intersection there is not efficient at all.”

The 2018 original cost estimate for the Lewisville-Vienna/Robinhood Road roundabout project was $1.27 million. The new estimate for 2022 has soared to $2.93 million.

There will be a public meeting on the project via Zoom on Wednesday, March 16, at 7 p.m.

In another active area, the town has continued to hold PARTF meetings and receive public input in an effort to obtain funding for park amenities.

“We applied for a grant last year but didn’t score high enough to receive it,” Horn said, “so we’ve taken a look at that application and strengthened in the areas where we could, like public participation to determine facilities and amenities, focusing once again on Jack Warren Park and the new community center area — that complex. The public meetings are really a high requirement by the PARTF group to show there was citizen participation in making some of those determinations.”

After many Zoom meetings, an open house PARTF public meeting will be held on Thursday, March 17, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Mary Alice Warren Community Center in the Vienna Room.

As for the retreat, which was divided between staff/council member presentations and council member item submissions, 25 items were covered in Friday night/Saturday morning sessions.

“It was a council-driven list, but the staff had a few items on there,” Horn said.

Of note was the Capital Improvement Plan, looking at how several facilities and land might be utilized in the future.

“A perfect example is our Annex, which houses our Sheriff’s Department, and our G. Galloway Reynolds Community Center, which was our primary meeting place for community, and now most of that has moved to the Mary Alice Warren Center,” Horn said.” I think that’s going help us take a look at where we need to repurpose those facilities and what kind of investments we need to make going forward.”

Regarding community policing and the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department, Horn said that Sgt. P.J. Stringer, who heads the Lewisville unit, raised the point that since 2017 that Lewisville has added almost 800 rooftops, but the town hasn’t added any new positions in 10 years. The town
currently has six deputies.

“What P.J. is proposing is with an addition to our deputies we could enhance our coverage and response to the growth that is occurring,” Horn said. “We are not having a crime wave. We’re just trying to even out how our deputies provide service in a way that we can have better coverage and continue to have our very low response times.”

The future of fire service in Lewisville was also one of the topics with the number of changes going on in the county.

“Lewisville needs to make a determination of what all this means, how it impacts the service that we have and should we be taking a more engaged role in helping to determine the future of fire service for Lewisville residents,” Horn said.