PC council approves contract for Streetscapes project

A slower-paced, more pedestrian friendly Broad Street took another step toward reality Tuesday when the Phenix City Council passed a resolution for the construction of the Phenix City Streetscapes and Water Systems project Tuesday.

The council unanimously approved a $3,236,640 contract with MBC Southeast Inc. for the project, which will include widening the median, narrowing the traffic lanes to two lanes and constructing elevated traffic tables to slow speeds on the city's primary downtown thoroughfare.

"Hopefully we will be able to begin this project in the next six weeks,' said City Manager Bubba Roberts, who added the project had a 14-month window for completion with penalties if it is delayed.

"It will be a hindrance for a period time and I'm asking that our citizens be patient with us. There will be some times when traffic will be very slow."

Another part of the project is the construction of a 24-inch water line on Broad Street. "We've anticipated a 24-inch water line down Broad Street that will eventually continue down south and loop the city," said Roberts. "That should put us in good water for the next 30-to-50 years."

The streetscapes project, which came in $400,000 under projected costs, will combine with the riverfront development to make reality the city's plan to transform the downtown area into a retail/residential/entertainment district.

Widened medians, narrower streets and slower speeds on Broad, with the addition of off-street parking and residential developments, will make the downtown area a destination point in the area, city officials have said.

If the project is completed on time, the "new" Broad Street should be in place by fall 2008.