Tyler City Council has entered a funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for five Highway Safety Improvement Program projects, including better curb ramps, pedestrian signals and push buttons and improved communication at intersections for better traffic flow.
The city of Tyler submitted and received approval for several projects as a part of the TxDOT 2020 HSIP call for projects. The HSIP is federally funded and depending on what roadways the project will affect, some costs will be paid for by TxDOT or the city.
Projects will include pedestrian improvements such as better curb ramps, pedestrian signals and push buttons and also work on traffic signals to improve communication at intersections for better traffic flow, Cameron Williams, city of Tyler traffic engineer, said.
“It’s a great opportunity to leverage dollars that are coming from the federal government and from TxDOT to make the city’s funds go further,” Williams said. “You’re looking at roughly $2.1 million or so in construction coming from the federal government and TxDOT to do these projects. That’s a big deal for the city.”
“(The program) is to reduce fatalities and severe injuries,” Williams said. “Improving conditions at signalized intersections is kind of the focus of the projects we have going on, that’s for pedestrians and vehicles.”
The city of Tyler will be completing a total of five projects that will be separated into two different packages, he said.
The first will include Gentry Parkway, South Broadway Avenue and Robert E. Lee Drive and the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard projects. This package is planned to begin in August 2022.
The second package will include New Copeland Road and North Broadway and West 26th Street projects. This is planned to begin in August 2023.
The Half-Cent Sales Tax Board on Wednesday approved the funding for the design contracts for both the South Broadway Avenue and Robert E. Lee Drive and the West Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard projects, LouAnn Campbell, city of Tyler public information officer, said.
She added at the next city council meeting on Sept. 22 at 9 a.m. these two projects will be presented for approval of the design phase of the contract.
The U.S. Department of Transportation provides federal funding for 90% of construction costs, with the city paying the remaining 10%. The city will also pay 100% of the engineering, design and any construction cost overruns for three of the traffic system improvement projects.
Projects that fall under this include:
- The North Broadway Avenue and West 26th Street crosswalks project will provide a sidewalk, curb ramp and crosswalk improvements to help improve areas for pedestrians at the intersection.
- The New Copeland Road signal and crosswalk improvement project will include traffic signal improvements such as vehicle detection upgrades, communications and pedestrian signals at the intersection of Shiloh Road, Rieck Road and Grande Boulevard.
- The West Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard signal and crosswalk will include signal upgrades at the intersections of West Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, North Broadway Avenue and Palace Avenue There will also be new curb ramps, pedestrian signals, vehicle detection and communication installed at North Broadway Avenue and communication upgrades at Palace Avenue
Two signal improvement projects in the city will be 10% funded by TxDOT. The remaining 90% will be paid for with federal funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Projects that fall under this include:
- The South Broadway Avenue and Robert E Lee Drive signal improvement project will include reconstruction of the traffic signal, pedestrian signals, push button, curb ramps and crosswalks.
- The Gentry Parkway improvement project will include signal improvements and communication upgrades to nine intersections on the roadway at cross streets Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Parkdale Drive, Glenwood Boulevard, Ross Avenue, Palace Avenue, Broadway Avenue, Beckham Avenue, Hillsboro Street and East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard Traffic signals will be fully reconstructed at intersections of Glenwood Boulevard, Hillsboro Street and East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard as well.
All items paid by the city of Tyler are funded through the Half-Cent Sales Fund.