A project to install nearly six miles of sidewalks is near completion.
Project Engineer Kyle Dykes said the project contractor, South Texas Illumination, is finishing up the final checklist for the sidewalks, a step that should be done in a few weeks.
Overall, about 5.75 miles of sidewalk were added to city streets.
“The objective is to create accessible routes for the high-use areas in town,” Dykes said. “The project itself is intended to create better connectivity between parks, schools and hospitals and areas that get a lot of traffic. We can leverage grant dollars and that helps us extend our dollars.”
The city completed a pedestrian access study in 2010, which was the basis for the work.
The project added sidewalks to Beckham Avenue, Loop 323, Gentry Parkway, Martin Luther King Boulevard, East Fifth Street and others.
The work was done by a single contractor, but the funds came from two pots of money: a Texas Department of Transportation grant and city funds.
A $1.9 million construction project funded by the TxDOT grant (80 percent) and the city funds (20 percent) focused on putting sidewalks along TxDOT-owned roads.
A second set of city funds - $88,130 - completed two stretches of city-owned right of way on the south side of Garden Valley Road in District 3, and on Blanco Drive in District 5.
Apart from sidewalks, the city is working on two other mobility projects.
Those include the Legacy Trails project, which is the first leg of a regional trail system. That project is funded with the help of a state grant, and includes turning an abandoned railroad corridor into a trail, from Old Jacksonville Highway, near Fresh, to Gresham.
The other project is a partnership between the city and The University of Texas at Tyler to study the city’s road infrastructure and look for places to add bike lanes.
Both are ongoing.
UPDATED SIDEWALK LOCATIONS
• Mockingbird Lane, from South Peach Avenue to Broadway Avenue
• North Northwest Loop 323, from Van Highway to West Erwin Street
• Garden Valley Road, from Bradley Avenue to North Glenwood Boulevard
• West Gentry Parkway, from Van Highway to North Palace Avenue
• West Gentry Parkway, from North Palace Avenue to North Broadway Avenue
• West Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, from North Palace Street to Border Avenue
• South Beckham Avenue, from East Houston Street to Troup Highway
• East Fifth Street, from South Beckham Avenue to South Clayton Avenue
• Along the south side of Garden Valley Road, from Boulter Middle School to North Northwest Loop 323. This section was omitted from the grant project and will be completed with city funds.
• A 60-foot section of failed sidewalk at the intersection of Mustang Trail and Blanco Drive in City Council District 5.