Two well-worn thoroughfares in central and east Arlington will get a $27 million face-lift starting early next year.
The City Council last week approved construction contracts for the reconstruction of sections of both East Abram Street and Great Southwest Parkway. Those are among the last road projects funded from the 2008 bond program, said Keith Brooks, engineering operations manager for public works and transportation.
Abram will be rebuilt from Collins Street to Stadium Drive, and Great Southwest from Abram north to Avenue E, near Interstate 30.
“They just need to be rebuilt,” Brooks said. “They’re at the point where maintaining them is not going to do a whole lot of improvement.”
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According to the contracts, construction on both projects would begin Jan. 4 and be completed in June 2017.
A major part of the Abram Street work will be reconstructing and elevating the bridge over Johnson Creek by 11 to 12 feet. Once construction on the bridge begins, it will be closed for eight months. Brooks said that after a meeting with the contractors in early January, the city will know when the bridge work begins so motorists can adjust accordingly.
The result will be a bridge much less likely to disappear under floodwater, he said.
The city awarded the Abram project to Tiseo Paving Co. of Mesquite, which submitted the low bid of $15.97 million. Tiseo also bid on the Great Southwest project but came in second to Jackson Construction Ltd. of Fort Worth, which had the low bid of $11.41 million and was awarded that job.
The city promises to reward swiftness with $500 for each day a project is finished early. Lateness would be penalized by the same amount.
The Abram work will be in two sections. From Collins Street to Gay Street, Abram will be rebuilt to its current configuration — a five-lane concrete road including a continuous left-turn lane. From Gay to Stadium, Abram’s four lanes and median will be reconstructed.
The work includes installing underground drainage, water and sewer lines along with improved sidewalks, streetlights and landscaping.
The Abram project is not to be confused with major plans for the downtown segment of the street. The council last year approved a controversial part of the plan — narrowing a section of Abram between Cooper Street and Collins Street, which now has four lanes and a continuous left-turn lane.
The section would have one eastbound and one westbound lane, and a left turn lane and feature safer-on-street parking, wider sidewalks and more trees. City leaders want to calm traffic in that area and encourage more foot traffic and redevelopment.
Last week, the council approved a funding agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for almost $875,000 for “pedestrian enhancements” along Abram between Cooper and Center streets. The city has to provide a 20 percent match.
That project is now in the design phase. Work is set to begin in 2017 and finish in 2018.
No such changes for the Abram and Great Southwest Parkway now under contract.
The Great Southwest rebuild will include new drainage, water and sewer lines as well as pavement markings, traffic signs, streetlights and landscaping.