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Citizen Input Wanted On Golf Course Bridge And Jersey Meadow Drive Alternatives

At the April 2024 City Council meeting the Council held discussion based on the recommendation from the Golf Course Advisory Committee. The recommendation was to close the golf course bridge to vehicle (cars and trucks) traffic but to leave it open for golf carts, pedestrians, and bikers. The Council took no action on the recommendation but directed the city manager to investigate the feasibility of extending Jersey Meadow Drive, or alternatives to that.


For this analysis, the City Manager used the bid price received for the Congo Lane rehabilitation project. Congo Lane is approximately 2,862 linear feet. At the bid price that was awarded the for Congo Lane that project is approximately $1,030 per linear foot.  When a bridge was discussed over Equador near the pool that estimated cost from an engineer was about $1,000,000 per 100 feet of bridge. For the sake of this discussion, I am using those costs for the estimates. Since this project is at least 2 years from construction I’m adding a 10% inflationary factor to those numbers. Engineering/Survey/Geo Technical costs are estimated at $500,000 and the third-party inspector costs are estimated at $100,000.



Extending Jersey Meadow Drive Straight Across Detention Pond

This proposal would remove vehicular traffic from the golf course parking lot.

We expect this to be approximately 1,750 feet long with approximately 200 feet of that being a bridge. This would require a lot of coordination with flood control as it would get over their property. That would also mean approval by the county engineering department, which could take an extremely long time. Using numbers based on the cost of street reconstruction we would estimate the cost of the street portion to be $1,751,500, and the bridge would cost approximately $2,200,000.  Factoring a 15% contingency as well and the total cost for this option is approximately $5,234,000.


There are a few other benefits to doing the road this way. We could tap into the water that is already close to the end of Jersey Meadow Drive and provide a water loop to the Wyndham Village neighborhood.


This would also allow for a second access point to/from that neighborhood. Right now, there is only one bridge that serves that neighborhood. If something were to happen to that bridge there would be no easy access for the residents, or emergency vehicles, to that area.


One downside of this is there would be another access point into the city. Back in 2023 when a possible bridge connecting Equador street was discussed providing an extra access point to the city was something many residents were concerned about.  If we build a public street, it is always open. Whereas because the current set up is in a parking lot the gate could be closed at night.


Extending Jersey Meadow would also have long-term costs for the city as all of that would have to be replaced in 40 years. That long-term cost is not something that should be ignored in this discussion, especially as we face a long list of existing projects. Typically, but certainly not always, when a new street is added, it is done to support some type of new development or expansion of the tax base. That would not be the case with this new infrastructure.


Opening the new street continuously would likely lead to increased traffic on Rio Grande. Given that Rio Grande has a width of only about 27 feet, the problems currently observed with traffic due to street parking could intensify with additional traffic flow.


Follow Existing Right of Way

Another option will be to follow the current existing right of way across the bayou. This would route the traffic through the parking lot still. This would not accomplish the ultimate goal of keeping non-course related traffic out of the golf course.


This would be about 1,750 feet in total again, however about 300 feet of that would be bridge. The total estimated cost for the street is just under $1,640,000 and the bridge cost is $3,300,000. With the other soft costs discussed earlier and a 15% contingency the total cost is just under $6,370,000.


This option would keep the project majority on city land or right away. That would limit the need for extensive county review and approval. This could mean we could keep a gate that could be closed as it would go through the parking lot.  This could potentially mitigate the concern of having another access point to the city.


Doing this option would also have long-term costs for the city as all of that would have to be replaced in 40 years. That long-term cost is not something that should be ignored in this discussion, especially as we face a long list of existing projects. Typically, when a new street is added it is done to support some type of new development or expansion of the tax base. That would not be the case with this new infrastructure.



Alternatives of extending Jersey Meadow Drive

Some alternatives to not extending Jersey Meadow Drive, and keeping the bridge closed to vehicular traffic as recommended by the Golf Course Committee, would include routing traffic down Village Drive to Village Green and/or US 290 or extending Rio Grande.


Extend Rio Grande

Rio Grande Drive could be connected from where it currently ends at Wyndham Parkway up to the city limits at Winchester Country. This would be approximately 620 feet of new road, which would have a construction cost of approximately $640,000. Engineering and inspection for this is estimated at $300,000. The total project cost would be close to $1,000,000.


This would increase traffic on Rio Grande and would also open a new access point to the city. It would open another access point for vehicles going to Winchester Country, which may not be popular with the residents there. As many residents in Jersey Village seem interested in getting another access point to Jones Road directly, this may not solve the problem they are looking to have fixed either.


Expand Village Drive

If the bridge remains closed, one concern that has been voiced is that traffic can get backed up on Village Drive. This is mainly due to cars parking on Village Drive and the fact that currently Village Drive is approximately 27 feet wide. Village Drive was installed in 1983. It is not anticipated to replace that street for another ten plus years. When that street is redone, it could be expanded to 33 feet which would allow for two cars to pass at the same time. This would alleviate the issue of traffic not being able to pass when cars are parked on one side of the street and there is oncoming traffic. A new street would cost about $2,840,000. That is from Rio Grande to US 290.


Make Village Drive No Parking

We could look at making Village Drive no parking on both sides of the street. This would allow for traffic to flow more easily. However, given the driveway lengths on the street and limited spaces for residents and their guests to park this would not be popular with the residents on the street.


Make Two Dedicated Right Turn Lanes on Village Green to Jones Road

One concern that we have heard as it relates to this whole discussion is that traffic gets backed up on Village Green Drive. If we were to create two dedicated right-turn lanes from Village Green to Jones Road, we could facilitate the movement of traffic much more quickly and efficiently. Village Green is approximately 40 feet wide.


This cost would be relatively low, as it would mainly require new paint. This project could possibly be done quickly, but we would have to work with the County on this project as it turns on to their road. Getting their concurrence to this could take a while.


This alternative alone likely would not solve the problem. One of the other alternatives would likely need to be implemented as well. 

Your Feedback Requested

We want to hear resident feedback on these proposals. Please use the form below to provide feedback to the city.