Half Cent Sales board could give Texas College new ‘gateway' entrance

TYLER (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - Texas College may soon have a special "gateway" entrance along Grand Avenue to make the area more pedestrian friendly and attractive, if the Tyler City Council gives its approval at its next meeting on May 22.

Half Cent Sales Tax Corporation board members voted Tuesday to approve a contract with the Tyler-based Ballard and Braughton Engineering for $378,573 to make some improvements to Grand and Palace avenues and 26th Street near the college.

"We thought we could use more street and pedestrian signs and build sidewalks along Grand," City Engineer Carter Delleney told board members.

He said 26th Street currently does not connect to the college because of a creek bed, and if council approves, a creek crossing would be built.

"We want to enhance pedestrian usage," Delleney said.

Grand Avenue will be improved from Martin Luther King Boulevard to 29th Street and will include sidewalks, district street lighting and drainage improvements, according to information from the city.

In November 2011, the city council approved entering into a contract with Ballard and Braughton to perform design and construction phase services for the Palace Avenue Improvements Project. All three streets are a part of the Area Development Plan for Texas College, according to information from the city.

Board members also approved and recommended the city council select Apex Geoscience to perform testing services throughout the construction of the proposed Fair Plaza Parking Garage at Broadway Avenue and Elm Street. The cost for the service, which includes the testing of the ground before the garage foundation is built and the testing of the concrete for the correct strength, will be $169,650.

Delleney said this amount would represent about 2.3 percent of the $6.8 million construction cost of the 380-space garage.

Construction should begin on that garage in February or March 2014, and it should take about nine months to construct. He said Apex had worked with the city on the construction of the recently completed Earl Campbell Parkway.


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