Construction for South Main Street’s $8.6 million transformation is set to begin Feb. 8.
However the makeover isn’t aiming for increased foot traffic, tax revenue or sales said Eric Fladager, comprehensive planning manager for the city of Fort Worth. Instead, he said, the project’s main focus is to make South Main Street a “complete street.”
Once finished, the street will have bike lanes, larger sidewalks lined with trees and historic lampposts, protected parallel parking and sculptures by artist Benito Huerta.
The project is comparable to the recent project on West Rosedale Street which changed from three lanes in both directions, to two driving lanes and area for parking said Patrick Buckley, senior planner and senior professional engineer at the city of Fort Worth.
“We think that it created better walkable areas, and bike lanes and things like that, which we think kind of helps increase the development of the area,” Buckley said. “So, this project is very similar to that. It’s kind of street reconstruction so that people are more drawn to that area.”
The project will stretch along South Main Street from Vickery Boulevard to Magnolia Avenue where construction will be done “block by block” Buckley said.
When the demolition and excavation of the roadway begin Buckley said, they will create a detour around the area.
“We try to do blocks at a time so you’re only having to drive down about a block to the east or west and then head back down,” Buckley said.
However, he said that the detours shouldn’t cause large traffic delays or added commute time.
“It’s almost [a] minuscule amount of time,” Buckley said. “It’s not that much more time.”
The project is being done by Fort Worth South Inc., City of Fort Worth, Tarrant County, the North Central Texas Council of Governments, Dunaway Associates and JLB Contracting.
Currently, the project is on track to be completed by October.