City of Kilgore gives timeline on Main Street project completion

Published: Oct. 30, 2023 at 7:15 AM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - In late 2018 the city of Kilgore city council began the planning stages of a two-year project that rebuilds the Main Street corridor that runs through downtown.

Clay Evers, the public works director and lead on the project says main street was in need of repairs and beautification. “The road was built in the 1940′s. The utilities underneath it were the same age, and so those were failing as well,” Evers said.

The project was broken down into three phases, utility work, sidewalks and curbs and finally panels and pavement. Evers says the initial delays came from the utilities portion that put them six months behind schedule.

“Rain, unseen conditions underneath the pavement, additional storm sewer jobs, there were a variety of different things that happened during that particular project, “Evers said.

The sidewalks and curbs put them behind another 45 days due to contracts with business for their store front driveways. The original estimate for the project in 2019 was around $3 million dollars. Today, because of inflation it is around $3.6 million dollars. In order to combat that and save another million dollars, the city decided to have their own staff panel and pave the roads and that’s where the project stands today.

“That’s not small to a city of our size. A million dollars can do another road, two other roads later on in the city,” Evers said.

City workers worked on the project first until other calls come up that they had respond to, leaving parts of the street closed.

Chuck Conrad, the executive director of The East Texas Broadcast Museum along the corridor says this makes it difficult for visitors to find the museum.

“If you have a GPS, and you’re from out of town, and a lot of our visitors are from out of town. Your GPS will take you down highway 259 to Main Street, that’s a five-way intersection and tell you to go up there and you can’t,” Conrad said.

The GPS doesn’t give alternate routes because it doesn’t know the road is closed.

The city says they are aiming to complete the project in December or January.