The Denton City Council is expected to get its last briefing on the Hickory Street makeover this afternoon before the “grand street” project goes out for construction bids.
The briefing will cover discussion points from a July meeting with residents and businesses to be affected by the work planned between the Square and the downtown train station.
Plans show the city narrowing Hickory Street to two lanes, widening the sidewalks, adding more bike racks, defining the crosswalks, planting trees and putting in other landscaping.
The streetscape project is expected to cost about $3.1 million and begin later this year.
Upgrading aging water and wastewater lines is included in the project. While the addition of high-speed Internet is not part of the project — Assistant City Manager Howard Martin told the City Council earlier this summer that the most the city could do is lay conduit for later installation — council member Kevin Roden continues to advocate for it, citing economic development needs.
The project is expected to ultimately increase available parking in the area from the current 234 spots to 320 spots, including along Hickory and in Williams Square. Some of the new parking spots will come as drivers switch to back-in angled parking along Hickory.
During the July meeting, business owners expressed concern about the temporary loss of parking places during construction and asked that renovations to the Williams Square parking lot be completed before the street work began, city records showed.
Construction is being planned in phases. The first phase would fully close Hickory from Locust Street to Austin Street to vehicle and pedestrian traffic. The second phase would remove the north side on-street parking from Austin to Bell Avenue and shift the traffic to the two lanes on the south side. The third phase moves traffic to the new pavement on the north side as the improvements are made on the south side.
During the second and third phases, the city plans to keep the sidewalks accessible. Crews will also lay plywood panels over construction areas for business access.
PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.
ON THE AGENDA
In addition to the Hickory Street project, here’s what else the Denton City Council will consider today. The meeting will be at City Hall and broadcast live* on community cable (Charter Channel 26, Grande Channel 12 and Verizon Channel 38).
Work session — 2 p.m.
Proposed road impact fees
LEED certification for Fire Station 2
Budget for 2013-14 fiscal year
Regular session — 6:30 p.m.
A citizen update on fundraising for a proposed splash park
Public hearing on the proposed property tax rate for 2013-14
*Weekly council meetings are also replayed at 9 a.m. Wednesday, 6 p.m. Thursday, 1 p.m. Saturday and 1 a.m. Monday.