Work began May 6 on Main Street by placing debris barriers for the first phases of the year-long project.
Capital Excavation, the contractor for the $5.2 million project that will replace the Main Street bridge over Campbell Branch (near the intersection of Rock Creek Dr.) with a wider, longer, concrete bridge that meets current roadway safety and design specifications. The approaches to the structure will also be upgraded and replaced.
Additionally, the project will also include sidewalks, bike paths and street lighting and pavement upgrades at various locations within the project area of 0.98 mile on Main Street from Salado Plaza Dr. to College Hill Dr. north end.
TxDOT officials met with Saladoans at a Town Hall meeting on May 1 that was announced 26 hours before the event.
“I have had personal experience with the contractor hired for this project,” Village administrator Don Ferguson told the audience May 1, adding that “You couldn’t do any better.”
Work will take place between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, with some overnight work when the bridge is actually being replaced.
Capital Excavation will have 40 days to replace the Campbell Branch Bridge with a start date of Jan. 5 2020. It will require a closure of Main Street in that area with traffic detoured from Main St. to Blacksmith from Thomas Arnold Rd. and Church St.
“There are incentives in the contract to get the job done earlier,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson has said that the project will be disruptive but will ultimately be “really good” for Salado.
Work will begin on the west side of Main Street south of Salado Creek. Crews will complete work on the planned improvements on the west side of Main Street up to Thomas Arnold Rd. before switching over to the east side and completing work up to Salado Plaza. Then the work will move south on the west side to Thomas Arnold and then switch over to the east side south of Thomas Arnold to finish south of Salado Creek.
While there will be lane closures associated with the project, at least one lane of Main Street will remain open to traffic for the duration of the project.
Much of the project will fill the entire 100 foot right of way for Main Street in order to allow for sidewalks, parking, bike paths and drainage improvements. There are no plans for expansion of traffic lanes on Main Street.
The project will rework parking throughout the right of way on Main Street. In some areas, parking will be back-in angled parking. Other areas will have parallel parking only and some areas will lose parking.
Schematics can be found on saladovillagevoice.com showing the cross sections of the project as well as the impact on the right of way throughout the project. Those schematics are based on the 2017 drawings that Salado Village Voice posted online and were featured in the presenation by TXDOT officials John Haberman and Solomon Thomas.
The project was designed by Abram VanElswyk, PE, who designed the project for IS, LLC. He came to Salado for a town hall meeting in August 2017 announcing the project.
The project will have six foot concrete sidewalks on both sides of Main Street from College Hill to Salado Plaza Dr. From Thomas Arnold north to Salado Plaza Dr., the project will include bike lanes along the asphalt with striping to separate the bike lanes from the cars and trucks lanes. On the outside of the asphalted lanes will be concrete sidewalks and drainage.
“The right of way is very tight south of Thomas Arnold,” said VanElswyk in 2017. “We won’t be able to have the bike lanes south of that.”
The project will include work on drainage, including some closed storm sewer drains, VanElswyk said.
“We wanted to preserve as much of the parking as possible,” he added. In order to do that, and to ensure safety for cyclists, some parking will be parallel and other parking along Main Street will be back-in angled parking.
VanElswyk explained that back-in angled parking is necessary for the safety of cyclists because it creates a line of vision between the cyclists and drivers pulling out onto the road.
The project also preserves driveway cuts for property owners.