Local government

Walking through parts of downtown Temple will soon get easier as a contract to improve local sidewalks, along with other road improvements, was approved on Thursday.

The Temple City Council approved a more than $905,000 contract with Choice Builders LLC for sidewalk improvements along Central and West Adams avenues during their meeting. The contract, which was unanimously approved by the Council, will be paid for by a $1.2 million federal grant the city had received.

City spokesman Cody Weems said the improvements will work within the existing right of ways for both Central and Adams, constructing six-foot wide sidewalks.

“The city works diligently to ensure residents have safe and adequate infrastructure, regardless of their mode of transportation,” Weems said. “This project is another example of that commitment. Additionally, the increased walk ability provided by these sidewalks will allow for greater access to many essential businesses and services that residents depend on.”

City officials said the sidewalk improvements will be on the northern side of West Adams Avenue and the southern section of Central Avenue. The sidewalks will stretch from 31st Street on the western edge to Third Street on the eastern side.

Construction of the project is expected to be completed by November, taking about 180 days for construction.

The city also approved the purchase of a right of way and drainage easement along Hartrick Bluff Road in South Temple for $166,000 in a 5-0 vote.

The property, located at 6510 Hartrick Bluff Road, is necessary for the expansion of the street from a two-lane rural road to a three-lane urban collector. The city has seen several developments in the area over the past year that aim to construct new subdivisions.

Councilwoman Susan Long, who represents the area, said the expansion coming along the road requires the city to invest in the infrastructure early.

“You have just so much expansion coming in that area,” Long said. “Hartrick Bluff used to be a nice sleepy pretty little town road, and it was fun to meander along it. No so anymore as the future comes and straightening that curve on Hartrick Bluff is very, very important.”

Council members also unanimously voted to accept the donation of a temporary construction easement from Belton Independent School District that is located at 7907 Prairie View Road.

The easement is necessary for the construction of the city’s North Pea Ridge Road expansion project, which will expand the placement and add pedestrian facilities, drainage and water utilities. The city has currently acquired property rights from 16 of the 19 property owners needed.