Watching Cement Dry
Apr 12, 2013 10:56AM ● Published by tina
Residents asked for more sidewalks and the Southlake Boulevard sidewalk project is scheduled for completion this year
City View by John Terrell, Mayor of Southlake
Usually this phrase refers to something that is incredibly boring, but in this case, we are literally watching the cement dry on an exciting project that has been a long time coming.
In July of 2010, Southlake was awarded a STEP grant from the Texas Department of Transportation intended to fund the concrete-laying necessary to fill in the many sidewalk gaps along Southlake Boulevard. The project came with a condition though: The city would have to wait until the boulevard’s median project was completed before the sidewalk construction could begin. So, in January of this year, sidewalk cement finally began to be poured and left to dry. As of this writing, around 1,500 linear feet have been completed with a final goal of more than 13,000 linear feet.
This sidewalk project and many others represent significant progress toward addressing Southlake’s Citizen Satisfaction Survey No. 1 gap item — sidewalk construction. In the 2009 survey and the 2011 survey, many of you told us sidewalk construction is a top concern. Through the years, Southlake’s slow conversion from a rural to more urban community has caused attitudes to change about what our city needs. I think we have made progress in meeting those needs but also acknowledge that when it comes to sidewalks, we still have a ways to go.
We’ve learned that people who have moved to this area want sidewalks in their neighborhoods so they can walk with their families to nearby parks or use them for outdoor exercise. We’ve also learned that sidewalks are part of a complete economic development package that attracts businesses to Southlake. That’s why the completion of the Southlake Boulevard sidewalk project and the priority sidewalk neighborhood projects the city council approves each year are so important. Each one is a small investment toward our goal of making Southlake Texas’ premier community.
Here are the Southlake Boulevard sidewalk construction locations:
· North side of FM1709 from North White Chapel Boulevard to deceleration lane in front of Bicentennial Park
· North side of FM1709 from Diamond Boulevard to White Chapel Boulevard
· North side of FM1709 from Mendez Development to Foxborough deceleration lane
· North side of FM1709 from Foxborough Lane to Diamond Boulevard deceleration lane
· South side of FM1709 from Harris Methodist to Miron Drive deceleration lane
· South side of FM1709 from Davis Boulevard to Players Circle
· South side of FM1709 from Chick-fil-A to existing sidewalk at Georgetown Park and continuing to Nolen Drive.
It should be noted that sidewalks don’t come cheap. The million-dollar-plus 2010 grant will fund most of the Southlake Boulevard sidewalks listed above, but the neighborhood sidewalks are another story. Every year, the city’s budget sets aside at least $400,000 in capital improvement dollars for Southlake’s sidewalks. I anticipate that type of funding will continue until we reach our goals.
The Southlake Boulevard sidewalk project is scheduled to be completed this year. You can bet that we will celebrate when the final square is laid and this project is complete... not only about this project but also because of the city’s commitment to pedestrian connectivity.
See you in Southlake....
John Terrell, vice president of commercial development for DFW Airport, has spent countless volunteer hours in service to the City of Southlake. He served two terms on the city council prior to becoming elected Southlake's Mayor in 2009 and again in 2012. Married to wife Joanne and father to two Dragons, the 2012 Southlake Citizen of the Year has called Southlake home for more than 15 years.