On Tuesday, City officials will break ground at Frost Bank Park on a project that will convert the downtown portions of Main Avenue and Soledad Street from one-way to two-way roads. Funded by $9.5 million from the 2012 Bond program, construction on the two streets is expected to be completed by November 2017. Soledad Street from Commerce to Pecan Street currently has alternating lane closures, with construction expected to last eight months. Main Street construction will begin in June 2017 and end in November.
The project is managed by the City’s Transportation & Capital Improvements (TCI) department. The new layout for the two streets was designed by Poznecki-Camarillo, Inc., and construction will be in the hands of E-Z Bell Construction.
In a Monday interview with the Rivard Report, TCI’s Assistant Director for Transportation Razi Hosseini said that the project didn’t arise out of a need to better regulate heavy traffic.
“There’s not much traffic on these streets,” he said. “This is more for improving pedestrian walkways, landscaping, providing more accessible parking on the street, and installing bike lanes, which helps the area for future development.”
Hosseini said that the construction will begin on Soledad Street, and then move over to Main Avenue.
“The City wants to build a more complex street where everybody benefits,” he added. “It’s improvements like these that are instrumental in bringing people to those streets. We’ll also be upgrading public utilities on those streets with no cost to the taxpayer.”
Additional improvements include ADA-compliant wheelchair ramps left-hand turn lanes on Soledad and streetscape amenities to promote pedestrian activity.
At the groundbreaking, Councilman Roberto Treviño (D1) said that well-designed, collaborative projects like Main and Soledad incorporate the principles of “city by design.”
“Converting both streets into two-way traffic lanes and installing bicycle lanes will reduce congestion during peak hours and will provide multiple modes of transportation,” he said. “This project was designed keeping in mind the fast-growing community downtown.”
Soledad Street from Commerce to Pecan Street currently has alternating lane closures, with construction expected to last eight months. Main Street construction will begin in June 2017 and end in November.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with information from Tuesday’s groundbreaking ceremony.