Changes add costs, time to Broad Street Streetscapes Project

The Broad Street Streetscapes Project will cost a little more and last a little longer before it is completed.

The Phenix City Council Tuesday unanimously approved a number of changes in the original plan for the project, the first change orders since Auburn-based MBC Southeast Inc. began work last July.

The project — which will widen the median in Broad Street, narrow the traffic lanes to four and include needed improvements to a key water line in the city — was originally expected to cost not more than $3,236,640 and be completed sometime in September. But the additional $81,283.07 in costs caused by the changes have pushed the tab to $3,317,923.07 and added an additional 45 days to the project.

The completion date is now sometime in mid-autumn. The changes include a variety of items, including the revision of entrances to B.W. Capps Inc. and the Broad Street Church of Christ.

Changes to water lines and the removal of unsuitable material -- otherwise known as bad dirt — were other reasons for the changes.

The streetscapes project had been the subject of frustration and consternation over the last year, with commuters who regularly used Broad Street having to find alternative routes or brave the delays brought on by the construction.

But there are signs the project, designed to bring a more pedestrian feel to Phenix City's main street, is moving closer to completion. Forms for the concrete sidewalks on the western side of Broad Street are in place. The open trenches where utility lines were being improved are now closed.

People who travel the street will soon see traffic lanes moved from the middle of Broad Street to the east and west edges, as the widened median is constructed down its middle.