San Benito road project to remove hazard

SAN BENITO — The city is working to clear a safety hazard.

Last night, city commissioners approved a $174,000 project to repair a stretch of Shafer Road on which residents warn their cars could plunge into an adjacent canal.

The city will repair a 2,700-foot stretch of Shafer running from FM 509 to Whalen Road, Adan Gonzalez, the city’s public works director, told commissioners.

Along Shafter’s northwest side, crews will install a 130-foot drainage pipe to carry rain water into a ditch, Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said the pipe will prevent pooling on the street’s surface.

“That’s why that road got messed up,” he said. “When it rains, the water had no place to go.”

Gonzalez said curb and gutter has been constructed along the other side of the road.

As part of the project, crews will erect a barricade near the intersection of Shafer and Whalen to prevent motorists from plunging into the canal, he said.

At a town hall meeting last September, resident Esteban Cavazos, who lives in the Sunnyside subdivision, warned motorists could plunge into the street-side canal.

Commissioner Esteban Rodriguez, who proposed the project with Commissioner Tony Gonzales, said the city will tap its $438,000 street repair budget to fund the job.

The 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 last week.

De La Rosa said the city is working with the property owner and prospective buyers to develop of the land for commercial use.

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

Rodriguez said Shafer stands at the top of the city’s street repair list.