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Multiple improvement projects underway across Tyler

The Tyler City Council approved projects for streets, drainage, as well as for a downtown business to open a patio.

TYLER, Texas — As summer approaches, the City of Tyler is getting ready to start on new projects to improve streets, drainage, and more.

The Tyler City Council met Wednesday morning and approved a project for Don Juan's on the Square to use the City's right of way temporarily for the next five years to build an outdoor patio.

Lisa Crossman, a city engineer, says the restaurant will build a platform to have six tables roped off, with a stand for an employee to monitor the area.

"Their plan would be to eliminate four of those angled parking spaces, which would be used for their outdoor seating area," she said.

Before approving the project, council members discussed taking away parking Downtown and came to an agreement that with more people spending time at the Square, the patio could bring more.

"Don Juan's is going to do nothing but add to that excitement of Downtown, so I like it," Mayor Don Warren said.

The restaurant told the City it plans to have the patio ready for diners by the fall.

The council also approved a $1.3 million project to address road improvements to Melinda Lane, Donna Drive and Mirabeau Drive. Crossman says the streets are in need of multiple repairs.

"Along the edge of the street, where the curb and gutter meet the asphalt pavement, there are large, sunken areas on the streets, the streets have water cracking, they're just in really terrible shape," she explained.

The Melinda, Donna and Mirabeau Street Reconstruction Project will fix pavement and curb failures. Storm-water infrastructure will be added to Melinda and Donna, including new underdrains to eliminate water from destroying pavement. 

Crossman says Mirabeau Drive will also have a groundwater collection system installed to help maintain the road once it's repaired. The project is funded through the Half Cents Sales Tax Fund, and construction is expected to begin in June and finish around March 2022. 

The city council also approved a drainage study for Black Forest Creek along Gentry Parkway and Willow Creek, which runs in the area west of South Palace Avenue between Erwin Street and Noonday Road, to address flooding issues.

Credit: KYTX

According to the City, the studies will establish flooding inundation limits and develop mitigation alternatives. The work includes data collection, surveying the area, developing a 2D hydraulic model, updating the GIS database, and providing a final report.

These projects received a grant under the Texas Water Development Board's Flood Infrastructure Fund program which covers 35% of the cost. The City will pay a total of $156,000 for the drainage studies.

A new bus rolled into town on Wednesday to help improve the City's bus routes. James Torres, Tyler Transit Assistant General Manager, says they're currently doing a route study to find ways to make people's journey across Tyler easier.

"This is a 30 foot Gillig bus, 22 passenger with two wheelchair positions," he said. "We hope [it provides] a better ride and a lot more room and hopefully a lot quicker response time and more capabilities."

The bus came at no cost to the City or taxpayers and was funded through state and federal grants.

Recently, other projects have been done across Tyler parks. Keep Tyler Beautiful partnered with the Tyler Legacy Student Council and restored a flower bed at Rose Rudman Park, a new bathroom was installed at Lindsey Park near the soccer fields, and artists are working to finish up their murals at Hillside Park by the end of April.

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