Hawkins Pkwy

East Hawkins Parkway in Longview is seen in June 2020 at the entrance for the Christus Good Shepherd Institute for Healthy Living. Christus Good Shepherd will build a portion of a Spring Hill Road extension in conjunction with its NorthPark Medical Plaza expansion that includes the institute.

Christus Good Shepherd will pay to build a portion of a Spring Hill Road extension in conjunction with its NorthPark Medical Plaza expansion.

The Longview City Council on Thursday authorized the city manager to finalize an agreement with the hospital that will see the city pay up to $500,000 to purchase the right of way for the extension west of Fourth Street. The agreement also waives city fees the hospital would have been charged for constructing the street and for “expansion of the Christus Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute expected to be completed in 2022 and the Christus Good Shepherd NorthPark expansion that will add 27,000 square feet and is expected to be completed in 2023.”

Christus broke ground on the expansion this past summer.

“A couple of months ago, Christus Good Shepherd approached the city during the master planning process when they were looking at their NorthPark and Institute for Healthy Living campus,” Michael Shirley, the city’s development services director, told the council during its Thursday meeting. “That discussion was to discuss how to gain access to Fourth Street for the rear of their campus.”

City staff members wanted to preserve the corridor for a proposed Spring Hill Road extension that has been identified on various road planning documents for years, with the intent of providing connection for the Spring Hill area all the way to U.S. 259, Shirley explained.

Under the agreement, Christus would build a two-lane public street but designate the full, 80-foot corridor for the future street expansion. Two-lane roads are typically 50-60 feet wide, Shirley said. The road would tie into the Fourth Street extension, cross Good Shepherd Way and end approximately behind the pond at the Institute for Health Living. It will be built with all utilities and a sidewalk.

“Staff feels like this is a great opportunity to partner with Good Shepherd to get a new city street and also preserve that corridor for that future expansion, at which time funds would be set aside for that,” Shirley said.

He said Christus has much more than $500,000 invested in land for the project, as the hospital had to purchase land from the developer of the Fourth Street extension in order to tie into that road.

“This is just the city’s participation in that,” Shirley said.

Mayor Andy Mack said, “But they’re going to build a street.”

“It’s not a true tit for tat,” Shirley said, adding that that road construction would cost about $1.6 million.

“They really only need a driveway, but we’re going to get a city street out of it,” he said.

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