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Brick paver sidewalks spruce up downtown Victoria

By DAVID TEWES
Aug. 3, 2010 at 3:03 a.m.


Work in progressThe brick pavers are being placed on top of a layer of concrete to keep the pavers from buckling and cracking and to eliminate weeds.

Tom Schmidt with Victoria-based Urban Engineering said the sidewalks must meet the Texas Accessibility Standards for the handicapped.

The rules are rigid and complicated, which initially slowed the work, although SER Construction Partners of Pasadena is back on schedule, he said.

"There's also a lot of preparation work that has to go on, as in underground irrigation, electrical for lighting, and new curb and gutter has to be poured drainage."

Downtown businessman Don Pedone said he's grateful for the construction going on across the street at De Leon Plaza.

"It has not affected my business at all," he said. "It's just the beginning of watching downtown become vibrant."

Pedone, owner of Office Systems Center, said he believes the work will help revive downtown Victoria and that will result in more business.

A $2.28 million sidewalk and street improvement project is under way downtown and city and business officials hope it will spruce up the area.

The work started May 20 with the installation of a brick-paver sidewalk around De Leon Plaza.

"It will take them about another month to finish the square," said Tom Schmidt with Urban Engineering, the Victoria firm overseeing the project for the city.

When that work is complete, brick paver sidewalks will be installed on each side of Main Street between Commercial and Juan Linn streets, replacing cracked and uneven concrete sidewalks.

Pedone said the new sidewalks are an eye pleaser.

"I think it looks great," he said. "It has been a long time coming."

Jimmy Roach, the city's deputy director of public works, said when the sidewalk work is done, the city will repave the part of Main Street bordered by the brick pavers. He said a layer of hot mix paving will be applied between Commercial and Juan Linn, providing a smooth ride and a surface that looks nice.

The other street sections bordering the plaza will also be repaved.

Roach and Schmidt said they are working on a paving plan that will cause as little inconvenience as possible for the downtown businesses.

Roach said that will likely involve working on alternating blocks to provide accessibility to and parking for the businesses. Schmidt said the final paving sequence will be made public so the business owners and operators can plan around the work.

The entire project is scheduled to be finished in November 2011.

"The way I perceive all that is with all this inconvenience, I can hardly wait for the end result because I know it's going to be worth it," Pedone said.

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