Kilgore’s Main Street gets an upgrade, years away from completion
KILGORE, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texas Main Street has been a bit of a rough road for a while; but that is about to change. A $2.3 million construction project along Kilgore’s Main Street will upgrade the pavement and utilities between Henderson Boulevard and Rusk Street.
The City of Kilgore has already done a test run with a piece of equipment they are renting that will help make it happen.
The street has twists and turns, and holes and patches.
Kilgore Director of Public Works Clay Evers can’t do anything about the curves, but he says the city can smooth it out.
“When I say reconstructing Main Street, I mean everything including what’s under it,” Ever said.
He says it will probably take about two years to finish.
“We scheduled it differently. We kind of drew it out a little bit because COVID-19 hit the city pretty hard. And so our financing streams were impacted like many cities were. And so we had to stage the project out and so that kind of naturally extends the timeline,” Evers said.
Main Street connects downtown with Henderson Boulevard, also known as Highway 259 Business.
“We’re kind of letting folks know that it’s going to be maybe even a little more rough riding than it already is,” Evers said.
He says that’s because utilities will be upgraded while they’re at it. So repaving will be the last of the project’s five phases.
“We’re going to go to six foot sidewalks, which is rather large, on both sides of the street to encourage pedestrian movement down our Main Street corridor,” Evers said.
He says it’s wide enough for lots of walkers.
“And maybe give some space to be ADA compliant, and space for bicycles,” Evers said.
And to make sure they know what they’re doing with the rented milling machine, which tears out the old asphalt, they tried it out about a mile away on a block of Richards Street. It’s also been repaved.
The businesses along Main Street are all aware of what’s coming and will remain open.
“You know, obviously nobody’s happy about the inconvenience of construction, but the end result is what we’re all looking for,” Evers said.
He says he’s warning people about a bumpy short term future that will lead to a long term smooth one.
Evers says the milling operation will begin Tuesday, and Main Street will remain stripped down for about two years until underground utilities can be upgraded. The $2.3 million project will be paid for with the city’s general and utilities funds.
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