February 3, 2014

Construction could begin this summer on extension of Center Street in Arlington

Center Street extension will include a new bridge over Interstate 20 in Arlington.

Construction could begin by summer to extend Center Street south of Interstate 20 to Bardin Road.

Last month, the City Council approved funding for the $14.4 million project, which includes a bridge over I-20. The city will pay for the project by issuing certificates of obligation and then repay that debt with property taxes collected in the Arlington Highlands tax increment reinvestment zone.

The zone was created to help finance infrastructure to support development in that area.

Center Street now ends at Highlander Boulevard.

The four-lane bridge will be built so it can be widened to six lanes, said Keith Brooks, engineering operations manager for the city’s public works and transportation department. The bridge will also have a separated two-directional hike and bike lane on the northbound side. The lane will connect with a planned bike route on Center Street that will extend north to Vandergriff Park and a planned bike trail south on Center that will connect to Embercrest Drive, graduate planner Christina Sebastian said.

Besides providing an alternative route to the Arlington Highlands shopping center, the Center Street extension will provide better access to land on the west side of Arlington Municipal Airport, said Bruce Payne, city economic development manager.

“It will probably make it more desirable for development that would benefit by being in close proximity to our airport,” Payne said.

The Texas Department of Transportation, which will build the bridge, is expected to bid the project in spring and begin construction by summer, Brooks said. Bridge construction, which could take a year, is expected to cause lane closures on the interstate.

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