As more people continue call the Midlothian area home, a greater demand is placed on existing infrastructure outside of the city limits.
Kyle Butler, Ellis County Commissioner Precinct 4, sees the impact of the growth regularly as new subdivisions take shape.
“I have had, in the last year and a half, six new subdivision come into the area. Last year we maintained 133 miles of road and had seven more (development) phases,” Butler said. “It is just amazing the growth that we are seeing, but we are keeping up with it and maintaining it.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of Ellis County was 173,620 as of July 1, 2017 — an increase of 12.6 percent from the 2010 census.
Butler stated the most significant change is the move from a traditional rural area to a suburban setting.
He notes the suburban change in Precinct 4 is on such roads as Shawnee, Westmoreland, Shiloh, Plainview and Oxford Ranch. Road and Bridge crews work to make improvements to these major thoroughfares as well as the smaller connector streets to accommodate the change.
Butler noted, “The roads are catching up with the development.”
The growth has also caused Butler’s crews to become more safety conscious while they are on the job. More flaggers are on the roads to direct traffic along with signs to alert drivers of work ahead of them.
“Right now, I have two crews running,” Butler said. “We are pushing four and a half to five miles of my interlocal (agreements) and the school districts. Then we have 34 miles of county roads that we are working on.”
Butler stated with the increased traffic on the roads and the need for maintenance that he is looking to add positions to his workforce. He noted that he will continue to be proactive in his operations at the precinct.
“We are just going to stick with what we are doing now and go from there. You can over plan but we kind of look from year to year with growth in the areas and tackle it as it is coming,” Butler stated. “We have had a good success rate as far as road completion. With the team that we have, we have made a lot of accomplishments.”