Arlington is looking at some major upgrades to its Downtown area in an effort to make the city a complete destination city.
A two-year, $20 million project on Abram Street has been awaited since voters approved a bond package in 2008.
“How you view downtown is going to be totally different once we're done,” said Assistant Director of Public Works Keith Brooks.
The project will be a major facelift for Abram Street, which is, in essence, “Main Street Arlington,” and runs in front of City Hall. The changes will happen on Abram Street between Cooper Street and Collins Street.
“It's going to be a total rebuild, but there will be wider sidewalks. We are going to have a plaza area right here in front of City Hall between City Hall and Levitt Pavilion,” Brooks said. “There are going to be street lights, park benches and trash receptacles. It's going to be a very pedestrian-friendly type of environment.”
There is also a plaza planned near City Hall.
“We have a brand new council chamber. We have a brand new library down here. So, the idea is that with the street revitalizing, you are going to see more and more growth down here as the years progress,” Brooks said.
The street will be reduced to three lanes in some areas to allow for parking changes.
“There will be a lot of parking in Downtown Arlington. It will be a combination of back-in angle parking and also parallel parking,” Brooks said.
The work is set to begin in February 2018.
"We understand that two years is going to be a headache for a lot of people, but at the same time we also look at the overall goal of what we are trying to accomplish,” Brooks said. “We will work with property owners and shop owners and tenants as best we can to accommodate them.”
“We believe that everyone out here is going to be satisfied with the final product,” Brooks added.
The Abram Street Project is multi-layered. The city is currently completing the stretch from Collins Street to Stadium Drive and has already upgraded Abram Street from Stadium Drive to Great Southwest Parkway.