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De Leon Plaza work begins Thursday

By DAVID TEWES
May 11, 2010 at 12:11 a.m.


History of project

Early cost projections had ranged from $2.6 million to $4.5 million.

Some to argue the project is a waste of tax money.

Others to argue the sidewalks are in dangerous disrepair and need to be redone.

Mayor Pro Tem, Tom Halepaska, said prices on all construction projects have been coming in under engineering estimates because of the economy.

Construction will begin Thursday morning on the controversial $2.1 million downtown Victoria Main Street and De Leon Plaza sidewalk and street project.

Lynn Short, director of public works, said the work will begin on the north side of De Leon Plaza on Forrest Street, between Bridge and Main streets.

The construction will take up the parking and one lane of traffic.

Only the westbound lane of traffic will be open on Forrest.

Contractor SER Construction Partners Ltd., of Pasadena, will then switch to the south side of the plaza on Constitution Street between Main and Bridge.

Short said the contractor is permitted to work on both sides at the same time. That job is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 30.

"I really don't anticipate it taking that long," Short said.

The entire project involves Main Street between Commercial and Juan Linn streets and all the streets that border De Leon Plaza.

The contractor will replace the curb and gutter, sidewalks and build curb extension for legally required ramps for the handicapped. The work also includes milling and paving the streets, painting traffic signal poles and irrigation for trees that will be planted later.

The old sidewalks around the plaza will be replaced with concrete and brick pavers will be placed on top of the concrete.

SER has until December 2011 to finish the entire project. "Personally, I think it's going to go quicker than that," Short said.

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