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City moves forward with Fenton Road renovations

By Richard Yeakley
May 16, 2013 at 11 p.m.

Many residents of Fenton Road were surprised when requests to purchase easements for road renovation appeared in their mail during the past two weeks.

The L-shaped asphalt road connects Gilmer Road and George Richey Road via Spring Hill Park East and has seen increased traffic in recent years. It is slated for a $3.4 million overhaul as a part of the 2011 bond election.

Work on the roadway, which will include new concrete paving, concrete curb and gutters, repositioning utilities and installation of a side walk, is set to begin in December.

"They have been talking about this for 15 years," said Joe Roy, who has lived on the road since 1958.

Roy, and his wife Maria, said from where they sit on the porch overlooking the road, the renovation will be important.

"Oh yeah, it will be good. When people come driving down, they hit the bumps," Roy said.

The Roys received a letter from the city of Longview requesting temporary construction use of their easement to adjust utilities, like water lines, to prepare for the the widening of the roadway.

Requesting the easement is the first in a series of steps that include finishing the plan and moving utilities that lead to construction

But the Roys said other development might be beneficial as well.

Maria Roy said people who use the road as a cut through from George Richey Road to Gilmer Road drive too quickly, and the road might be benefited by the speed bump.

"Because of people coming to and from Spring Hill Park East, traffic has tripled. They go well over the 30 miles per hour," the Kilgore College teacher said.

Brent Brevard, city architect and project manager for the Fenton Road project, said the job should take bids by early fall to allow for the December start date.

"The primary driver of this project is the renovations we did to Spring Hill Park," Brevard said. "The plans are pending our final review."

Spring Hill Park East includes baseball fields, a large play place and a splash pad.

Other residents of the road were unaware that the multi-million dollar renovations plans included a sidewalk.

Patrick Braly, who owns 308 Fenton Road, said he did not think adding the sidewalk was necessary.

"They said they were going to widen the road; they are saying they are going to want to put a sidewalk. ... We don't need a sidewalk on Fenton Road," Braly said. "I don't understand. If you go down Gilmer Road, you have a higher traffic count. That is where it is needed."



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