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County commissioners approved $70,000 for guardrails along Hickory Creek Road after two teens were killed this month after their SUV went off the road into Hickory Creek. Installation is expected to begin next week.

Officials in Denton County so far are keeping their promises to do something about Hickory Creek Road following the deaths of Daniel and Diego Rivera earlier this month.

On Tuesday, county commissioners approved $70,000 to be paid to a contractor who will install more than 3,000 feet of guardrail along Hickory Creek Road, where three people have been killed in the past year.

The Rivera brothers, ages 14 and 17, were found dead Jan. 9 in a white SUV that ended upside down in Hickory Creek. They went missing the night before. Authorities have said the stretch of the road where the vehicle careened into the creek did not have guardrail standing between the road and the creek.

The teens’ deaths sparked intense criticism of the county and city for the road conditions. In response, the city of Denton added reflective striping to a portion of the road to improve navigability at night. With the spending move on Tuesday, county officials signaled their willingness to add protections to this dangerous stretch of road.

The next move will be to contract a company to make the guardrail installations. Commissioner Hugh Coleman, whose Precinct 1 is responsible for the upkeep of the county-run portion of the road, said Tuesday that Aubrey-based Mike’s Mowing will be awarded the contract sometime next week. He said installation of the guardrail should began in about two weeks.

Hickory Creek Road will be closed during the installation, which is projected to take about two weeks. Drivers will have to find an alternative route during the construction, Coleman said. The goal is to have guardrail protecting the entire stretch of Hickory Creek Road that runs along the creek.

There will be more improvements, county and city officials say.

While the guardrail work is being done, the county will make unspecified pavement repairs, and the city thereafter will add new signs warning of the road’s dangerous curves, according to Denton City Council documents.

DALTON LAFERNEY can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @daltonlaferney.

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