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Posted on: September 17, 2019

Engineering: “We Don’t Just Go with the Flow”

bucket truck extended above traffic signal at US 75 and McDermott in Allen

Allen engineers find innovative solutions to keep traffic, waste and business moving.

Ask anyone in North Texas to name the worst thing about living here, and you’re bound to hear the same word over and over. Traffic. From 2018 to 2019, the North Central Texas Council of Governments estimates Collin County grew by more than 40,000 citizens. Roughly 5% of them chose to live in Allen; many more commute through it daily.

“Drivers are like water; they will find the path of least resistance,” explains Flanigan. “Our job is to predict and remove barriers so that traffic won’t spill into other areas.”

Engineering staff spent the last year tackling several large projects to accomplish this. New turn lanes were added on McDermott Drive to help drivers access US 75. Traffic lights on Bethany Drive were upgraded and retimed to improve travel time and reduce delay. At the entrance to Watters Creek, the entire intersection was overhauled to be safer and more efficient.

“With the addition of the new Delta Hotel and convention center, we knew a lot of people would be walking across this intersection,” explained Flanigan. “Whether you’re a daily commuter or a weekend guest, these improvements make things better all around.”

The department’s impact isn’t limited to streets and sidewalks. Allen engineers guide the building and renovation of City facilities, including the $6.6 million reconstruction of Central Fire Station. The project will create more space for firefighters and administrative staff, with expected completion in Spring 2020.

Engineering staff also plan and implement the infrastructure that carries Allen’s water and wastewater. As plans began taking shape for Monarch City—the 261-acre development coming to US 75 at SH 121—Flanigan realized the city would need to address a potentially stinky situation.

“Ten million square feet of development brings a lot of toilets,” he said. “Right now, we don’t have the means to transport that waste.”

Months of phone calls, meetings and number-crunching led Allen to a creative and beneficial partnership with the Town of Fairview and the North Texas Municipal Water District. The cities will jointly fund construction of a new sewage lift station, to be located east of US 75 in Fairview. Once operational, the North Texas Municipal Water District will be responsible for maintaining it.

“It’s a good example of the way we approach every project,” said Flanigan. “We don’t just go with the flow. Whether we’re dealing with roads or water lines or a new fire station, we’re not looking for the easiest solution; we’re looking for the best one.”

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