City Council Approves $35.3 Million Expansion of Mayhill Road

On Tuesday night, the Denton City Council authorized a $35.3 million expansion of Mayhill Road.  It was a meeting of proclamations, featuring a packed audience for the opening half of the Council’s first June meeting.  Following several mayoral proclamations by Mayor Chris Watts, who recently bested challenger Neil Durrance for his third term, the audience significantly thinned-out as the meeting moved to items considered in the Council’s preceding work session.

Following a call for adoption by Councilor Ryan regarding all but two of the consent agenda items, the Council unanimously passed an agenda which included further approvals for the City Manager’s office in managing upcoming City projects, such as 2018’s action plan for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The two items which were then individually deliberated upon were the fourth modification to the pending Mayhill Road expansion and a pilot program between the City, UNT, and Spin, a San Francisco bike-sharing startup.

The Mayhill Road expansion’s main deviation from its prior consideration before the Council was a negotiated reduction in the price of the project, down some $667,000 dollars.  The new price was approved by the Council in a 6-1 vote, with Councilor Briggs dissenting due to the “uncertainty” of the project.  The expansion is now expected to commence, with the new contract awarded to Zachry Construction Corporation.

The second item for individual consideration was the pilot program of ~100 bikes for a bike-sharing system for students of UNT and for citizens of Denton at-large.  The program had, in prior months, been subject to establishing parameters for the operation of the program, as well as the logistics and data-sharing connected to the inventory of 100 bikes -- with a total of 200 bikes looked at optimistically for the future, per the success of the now-underway pilot program. 

The 100 initial bikes for an on-campus population of more than 6,000 students was decided upon due to existing ordinances, which cap the inventory to 100.  Despite the lacking existing infrastructure for making Denton entirely bike-friendly, the move by the Council Tuesday night opened the door for further improvements to existing roads and transportation programs.

The Council meets again on June 19th at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall.

Curtis can be reached on Twitter @Curtis_Stratton.

Header image photographed by Tori Falcon
Header image layout designed by Mateo Granados