San Benito mulls Shafer Road repairs

SAN BENITO — Shafer Road might be ready for an overhaul.

City commissioners on Tuesday are expected to approve the purchase of materials to repair parts of the road some describe as a safety hazard.

The street stands at the top of the city’s repair list but Commissioners Esteban Rodriguez and Tony Gonzales want work to start on the stretch from FM 509 to Whalen Road.

“We can’t keep waiting,” Rodriguez said. “Our citizens deserve better. We have to move forward.”

The $175,000 project will also help pave the way for development in the area near the old 84 Lumber Co. property off Shafer Road, City Manager Manuel De La Rosa stated.

“Staff has been working with the owner of the old lumber company as well as with some prospective buyers for the development of the land for commercial use,” De La Rosa stated. “We have heard some interesting proposals for that property.”

Meanwhile, residents such as Esteban Cavazos have warned parts of Shafer Road have become dangerous.

At a town hall meeting last September, Cavazos, who lives in the Sunnyside subdivision, said motorists could plunge into street-side canals.

Rodriguez said the city will tap its $438,000 street repair budget to fund the project.

Repairs are expected to start during this year’s first quarter, De La Rosa stated.

Three months later the town hall, commissioners voted to step up work on Shafer while pushing stretches of Resaca Drive and Lasby Park Road toward the top of the list.

Rodriguez and Gonzales also proposed the city step up work on Resaca Drive from Robertson Street to the Interstate 69 frontage road and Lasby Park Road from Poinciana Street to Stookey Road.

Rodriguez said he and Gonzales requested the three streets be bumped up on the priority list because they are in “very, very serious condition.”

“It’s not that I favored any one (road),” Rodriguez said.

He and Gonzales requested commissioners move up Resaca Drive because it is highly traveled.

“It’s along the resaca and a lot of people use it,” he said.

Meanwhile, children walk along the side of Lasby Park Road to get to nearby Dr. Cash Elementary School and Miller Jordon Middle School.

“A lot of kids walk to school and when it rains it’s muddy,” Rodriguez said. “We don’t want them walking down a muddy road and get to school all muddy.”

However, Mayor Ben Gomez and Commissioner Rene Villafranco have opposed bumping up the three streets’ repair over other street projects on the priority list.

Gomez and Villafranco have argued too many city streets need repair.

“All road improvements are important to us and we know improvements to Shafer Road will benefit the residents of Sunnyside subdivision,” De La Rosa stated.

What’s the project?
  • Shafer Road from FM 509 to Whalen Road
  • Project includes street, water and sewer line repairs
  • Cost — $175,000