Avenue Q getting $1.15M rehab
Avenue Q in Marble Falls will undergo a $1.15 million facelift to meet city standards. The Marble Falls City Council unanimously approved the rehabilitation project during its regular meeting on Tuesday, May 2.
Jarrell-based contractor Black Rock Industries Inc. had the winning bid.
Of the total funding, $650,000 will come from previously approved money in the city’s Capital Improvement Plan budget for 2022-23. The rest will come from bonds sold this summer, Mayor Richard Westerman told DailyTrib.com.
“We’ll be going out for bond sale,” he said. “I believe at our next meeting (May 16), we’ll probably approve it for another half-million dollars.”
The overall cost of the renovation was more than Westerman expected.
“Almost every time we do one of these projects, lately, when we get (bids) in, they’ve almost doubled due to materials and labor,” he said. “It’s a little shocking. We are the largest government entity in the area, so, unfortunately, our projects are a little bit larger.”
Mayor Pro-Tem Dave Rhodes was also troubled by the pricetag.
“It has alarmed us what it costs,” he told DailyTrib.com. “We could say no and put it off, but it’s just going to make things worse.”
At the top of the list of improvements to Avenue Q are new asphalt as well as curbs and gutters to aid drainage.
“It’s one of the older streets and has no curbing, which is a part of the problem,” Rhodes said. “Any runoff that goes other places starts destroying other things.”
The project came about after the street received a poor grade by the city’s Public Works department.
“We grade our streets from an F to an A,” Rhodes said. “(Avenue Q) is a D-minus. It has some asphalt on it, but it’s trashed.”
The street’s outdated utility lines were another factor in pushing for upgrades.
“It would not surprise me if some of those utilities are from the 1930s or ’40s,” Westerman said. “That would be my best guess.”
Heavily traveled, Avenue Q is frequently used by drivers on their way to destinations such as Marble Falls Elementary School and the Boys and Girls Club of the Highland Lakes-Marble Falls unit.
“It brokers a tremendous amount of traffic,” Westerman said. “It’s one of our more heavily traveled streets in that segment of town.”
While timetables for project completion are fluid, Rhodes expects construction detours to be set up sometime in the next two months.
“We can’t be definitive on (a timeline),” he said. “Because it’s a public street, the first thing in the planning is getting together with not only Development Services but also the (police department) because the whole street will need to be shut down. All of that coordination has to happen, so you’re looking at 30 to 60 days to get all that communicated.”