A new concept plan was presented to City Council at its Nov. 1 meeting. The original plan, introduced last fall, included the complete reconstruction of pavement, a three-foot widening of the road, intersection improvements, curb extensions and two new crosswalks, among other changes. The $8 million project was approved as part of the city's 2015 bond referendum.
More than 900 pieces of feedback were received by the city, Deputy City Manager Don Magner said. The public was “overwhelmingly against the widening,” as it would have meant demolishing a number of trees, he said.
Instead, the public asked staff to focus on improving safety and reducing the number of cars parked on the street. The new concept plan will keep the roadway the same width but will restrict some parking along West Prairie Creek Drive and add new parallel parking spaces along the south side of Lookout Drive.
“We believe many of the safety features that we were hoping to enhance with the widening can still be accomplished with a 34-foot cross-section,” Magner said.
In addition to parking adjustments, the plan also calls for the enhancement of the intersection of West Prairie Creek and Lookout to improve safety for pedestrians. The existing crosswalks at Fall Creek and Arborcrest drives will also be improved, and a new crosswalk will be added at Ridgewood Drive.
Rather than doing a curb-to-curb replacement of concrete, the city will make localized repairs and apply a layer of asphalt to preserve the condition of the street, Magner said. Curbs and gutters will be repaired on an as-needed basis, he added.
The city explored the possibility of restricting parking to residents only; however, it was ultimately decided that this would place too much of a burden on residents who had visitors.
Magner said design for the project is 50% complete. Staff hopes to bid the project in the early part of 2022 and begin construction next summer. The estimated completion is fall 2023.