I sat down at city hall with Baytown city manager Bob Leiper - at his invitation, to clarify the plans to expand West Baker Road from North Main Street to Barkuloo Road. Mr. Leiper made it crystal clear that this is the only plan the city has funding for at this time.
Using a large engineering blueprint he traced out the proposed path to Barkuloo Road. I asked what exactly the road would entail and he replied it would be a boulevard with sidewalks on both sides and landscaping in the median and it would accommodate commercial property. Eventually, it would pass directly south of Crockett Elementary with a 6 foot cyclone fence on the school side when the road is built to connect Crosby Cedar Bayou and Sjolander roads.
He stated the timeline would be approximately 18 months before construction begins and 12 months for completion. This translates to approximately January 2014.
I was also informed the existing East Baker Road, which runs through Chaparral Village must regrettably be renamed and he predicts a neighborhood meeting (possibly at Crockett Elementary) to facilitate the new name with existing East Baker residents. I suggested the city provide guidance for mail rerouting since many are long time residents.
The renaming of the existing road will prevent mix-up by commercial trucks mistakenly entering Chaparral Village and preclude confusion by having a road change names, as is found on Rollingbrook Street and the Massey Tompkins Road transition.
I asked about the further extension of the road behind Chaparral Village and although it is only in the planning stage, it is shaping up to be very well planned. I tossed around a couple of ideas including channeling the existing pond to the tributary of Cary Bayou at the end of the existing East Baker cul-de-sac.
Again, Mr. Leiper stressed the expansion past Barkuloo is being studied and has no funding at this time, but has high expectations the future trails and park will make everyone concerned pleased.
On my way out, I stopped in to talk to Baytown's Public Affairs Coordinator, Patti Jett. Her chipper and upbeat attitude towards all things Baytown gave me further hopes that our city is indeed "on the move".
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