Long-Awaited Dallas Road Work Demonstrates How Long Progress Can Take

$1 billion bond referendum planned this year for Dallas improvements

Reconstruction is set to begin Tuesday on bumpy Sylvan Avenue in Dallas, and people who drive on it say it's none too soon.

"It tears up your wheels, your tires, your front-end alignment, and stuff like that," said driver Larry Richmond.

Dallas voters approved money for the project in a 2006 bond referendum — 11 years ago.

"It shouldn't take no 11 years to do that," Richmond said. "It's unbelievable."

The price tag for the segment to be reconstructed between Fort Worth Avenue and Singleton Boulevard in $7.5 million.

City of Dallas spokesman Dale Long said $3 million comes from the 2006 bond money, $3 million more from Dallas County and the rest from the city water department for water and storm drain replacement.

"It took a little time to get it done, but we're excited about being out here, and you should see dirt fly on Tuesday morning," Long said. "We're going to have bike lanes and wider sidewalks and barrier-free ramps and a few signals out here, as well."

There were big design complications from drainage and railroad crossings, and officials also wanted to complete parallel Beckley Avenue before tearing up the nearest north-south alternate route.

Long said the delayed reconstruction of Beckley Avenue should be finished in December.

Records show the city first expected the Beckley-Commerce Street intersection to be finished in 2010.

David Massey runs Drive Shaft King, a business on Beckley near Commerce Street.

"I look at it and I'm like, 'God, it's been like six months and they haven't done anything,'" Massey said.

He offered advice to people who use Sylvan where construction is about to begin now.

"Stay away from it," Massey said.

Dallas street repair projects do not always take so long, but bond money is never spent quickly. It takes years to complete design and line up contractors after the money is available.

The city of Dallas is now planning a $1.025 billion bond referendum for November 2017 with about $543 million earmarked for streets.

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