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Wednesday, March 25, 2015
"Step up Main Street" project brings update to downtown Frisco
Courtesy of the City of Frisco
The second round of construction for Frisco’s Main Street is slated to start in just a few days, on April 6. The city center, which was last updated in 1982, is in need of more than a fresh coat of paint.
The focal point of the “Step Up Main” project is to fix drainage on Main Street, with planned fixes for aging structures and surface-level improvements. Construction crews will also work on adding new streetlights, new benches, and redoing both sidewalk and asphalt during this spring’s construction, which is scheduled from the beginning of April through late June.
“To a certain degree, I hope when we’re done, it becomes a nicer storefront for business owners,” said Frisco public works assistant director Rick Higgins. “Our goal is to keep a clear path for them for as long as we can.”
To keep traffic flowing, Higgins plans to limit road closures to one block at a time, working outside from the sidewalks in toward the road. He hopes to keep intersections open for as long as possible to minimize impact.
With more than 260 business owners on Main Street, the city is examining ways to provide alternative access to storefronts while sidewalk construction is underway. Businesses may use additional signing during this time, and bring in customers through side and back doors.
Higgins added the city will put forth extra effort to keep streets clear of dust and debris during construction.
“We need to be sensitive to that kind of thing, since Main Street gives the impression of this town,” Higgins said. “This is on the surface, it’s what you’re going to see, it’s the finished product.”
While roads will remain open for the initial stages of the project, city officials plan on detouring cars to Granite Street while the asphalt is repaved. Painted stop bars in alleyways will also be added to slow down traffic.
Starting in April, road crews will populate Main Street stretching from the intersections at Fourth Avenue to Seventh Avenue. During that month, they will start trenching and put in conduits. As they remove the old streetlights and electrical wire, they will add in the new wood and steel lights that were built by Public Works.
“We’ve had real electrical challenges with the 30-year-old streetlights,” Higgins added.
Since the unpredictable spring weather is a major factor in the project, Higgins said they plan to regroup at the end of April and see if they need to catch up on construction.
Then, in May, workers will tear up and repave sidewalks, giving one week for each block. In June, Main Street will be lowered 10 inches to improve drainage, as crews remove asphalt and re-pour the street.
“It’s a constant challenge for us to keep water flowing on the old Main Street,” Higgins said. “Our goal is to improve the drainage situation. That’s kind of what started the conversation about Main Street.”
The budget for the current phase is $1.8 million, with Columbine Hills Concrete serving as the general contractor for the project.
Frisco finance director Bonnie Moinet said that support for the project comes from the city’s capital improvement fund, which is primarily financed by real estate transfer taxes.
The total cost for phase one of the project, which took place last summer, was $1.28 million. Phase three, which consists of improvements from Madison Avenue to Second Avenue is slated for this fall, with an estimated cost of $1.28 million. The final phase is scheduled for spring 2016, with an undetermined cost.