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City of Thorndale takes on $1.3 million project to upgrade downtown sidewalks, add crosswalks

City of Thorndale takes on $1.3 million project to upgrade downtown sidewalks, add crosswalks
Posted at 5:37 PM, Jan 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-19 18:37:40-05

THORNDALE, Texas — The City of Thorndale is partnering with TxDOT to upgrade streets downtown.

Business owners like Danielle Beardsley says it's a needed change.

Beardsley grew up in Thorndale most of her life. Coming back three years ago to open her shop, LoveLee Boutique, downtown, she says the area still looks the same.

"it's uneven. There's cracks everywhere. Some of the stairs are kind of iffy," she said.

"I know on one side of the sidewalk there is one ramp."

But Thorndale City Administrator Ray Miller says changes are coming with its "Downtown Streetscaped" project after applying for TxDOT's Alternative Transportation project program.

"The Texas Department of Transportation called for projects for its alternative transportation projects," he said. "We applied with assistance from the MRB group in Temple and we got word late in the fall that the Texas Transportation Commission did award or fund our project."

The plan would add new sidewalks, crosswalks, signage, ramps, additional lighting and other "beautification" features.

The entire project costs $1,348,831.

The city would have been required to reimburse the agency, but Miller says the city received nearly $300,000 from the Bryan District TxDOT to pay the initial local match requirement.

"Essentially, TxDOT will be the manager of the whole project from design all the way through to construction," he said.

There is no timeline for the project, according to Miller, but he says once construction starts, it could disrupt businesses downtown since sidewalks are attached to buildings.

But Beardsley says she's excited for the change and for the business it will bring.

"We have a lot of older mature ladies that need help getting up the stairs, so making that more accessible to those who need it would be a good idea and a great benefit for our community," she said.

No designs or construction dates are available yet, but the city will offer opportunities for public input.