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Sidewalks won't be completed before Jaguar Hall opens

By DAVID TEWES
Aug. 31, 2010 at 3:31 a.m.


Engineers originally estimated the sidewalk and traffic light project would cost $171,000, but the winning bid was for $160,686.

Darrell Seibert, public works utilities engineer, said the contract was awarded to Houston-based Ranger Construction.

Work to make it safer for students to travel between Jaguar Hall and the University of Houston-Victoria campus won't be completed before the dorm opens in September.

"We would love to accommodate them, but it's just not going to be finished before school starts," said Jimmy Roach, the city's deputy director of public works. "It just takes a while to get that all squared away."

It takes time to solicit bids, to award a contract and to get the paperwork back to the company doing the work, he said.

The construction is slated to begin in September and should be completed in January. Students are scheduled to move into the dorm Sept. 5.

The improvements were requested by the university and include building sidewalks between the campus and Jaguar Hall, a former hotel being converted into a dorm.

The city will fill in the gaps in the sidewalks on the south side of the Houston Highway between Jaguar Hall and Ben Wilson Street.

It will also extend the sidewalk on the east side of Ben Wilson Street from the existing sidewalk in front of the Walgreen Drug Store north to Red River Street.

The final leg involves building a sidewalk along the north side of Red River Street to the first entrance into the campus.

The traffic lights on Ben Wilson at the Houston Highway and Red River will be modified so students can push a button to change the light and help them cross the road.

There is already a sidewalk on the west side of Ben Wilson, so one is being built on the east side to make it easy for students to walk to Walgreen for such things as school supplies and food.

The sidewalks are designed to accommodate pedestrians only and not people on bicycles.

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