Denton city leaders have a few choices in a long-term plan for Hickory Creek Road, but only one comes with regional funding.
The city engineer’s office is scheduled to present four options during a work session with the City Council on Tuesday afternoon. All of the options would help motorists get across the south side of town from Teasley Lane all the way to Interstate 35W. The Regional Transportation Council, an independent policy arm of the North Central Texas Council of Governments, told the city it prefers the option that essentially follows Brush Creek Road and Allred Road.
Some of that road doesn’t exist at all today. In addition, the part of Hickory Creek Road that does exist is no longer a quiet country drive. Daily traffic count on Hickory Creek Road now exceeds 8,000 cars per day.
Short-term fixes — guardrails, lighting, shoulder work — for the old two-lane asphalt road went into overdrive last year after teenage brothers Daniel and Diego Rivera died after their SUV rolled off the road and into the creek Jan. 9, 2019.
It was the second such fatality in a year. University of North Texas student Lucas Tucker, 24, drowned Jan. 21, 2018. In addition, a Denton motorist has lost control on the S-curve and crashed at least once every three months between November 2014 and January 2019.
The long-term fix began with talks between city, county and regional transportation officials. Denton voters did their part, too, in November by approving the bonds to finish rebuilding the existing road. From Riverpass Drive to FM1830, engineers are drawing a new, straighter Hickory Creek Road for crews to rebuild. The work should be complete in summer 2024.
If Denton extends the thoroughfare to Interstate 35W via Brush Creek and Allred roads, about $124 million of the $155 million project would come from regional funds.
The route is the least expensive of the four options the council will discuss Tuesday. But the additional right of way needed along Brush Creek Road also threatens two homes and part of the Denton Country Club golf course.
The council meeting begins at 1 p.m. Tuesday. More information on the agenda can be found at cityofdenton.com.