The Abram Street Rebuild is a one-mile project from Cooper Street to Collins Street designed by Parkhill | Schrickel Rollins and viewed as a catalyst to increase retail and business redevelopment in Downtown Arlington. This project was selected as an APWA Texas Chapter Project of the Year for 2020 in the Transportation Division.

A detailed master plan called for reducing the roadway section from five lanes (two lanes in each direction with continuous left-turn lanes) to a three-lane facility to increase parkway widths. The increased widths for sidewalks, landscape and lighting improvements were created to invite more pedestrian traffic through this corridor in the downtown area. Also, on-street, back-in, and parallel parking areas were created. Part of the project included two “Welcome Mats” that announce the arrival to the downtown area when approaching from the west or the east. At the midpoint of the project, the street passes between Arlington City Hall and the Levitte Pavilion, an open-air amphitheater that hosts over 50 events per year.  The space between city hall and the pavilion was developed into a plaza area that can be shut off from traffic using two sets of retractable bollards during special events and other festivals. The plaza is also the focal point of two major parades each year. Four major sculpture towers punctuate the plaza space and the new south entrance into the city hall.

Along with paving and drainage improvements, new water and sanitary sewer system were included in the project. This included a new 12” water line throughout the length of the project with connections to existing water lines on all cross streets and new meter connections. New 8″ to 12” sanitary sewer lines with new service lines were also included as part of this project. As part of the drainage improvements, concrete biofilter structures were designed to clean the first flush from rainfall events. The design also included traffic signals, irrigation, landscaping and streetscape improvements, and additional on-street parking.

Public involvement was a significant focus of the design team due to the change in the function of the facility. Since obtaining buy-in from the 52 business owners and tenants along this one-mile commercial strip was so important, Parkhill | Schrickel Rollins invited representatives from each property along the route for a meeting with the team. Sketches were prepared to show the existing condition of the property at the street and how the proposed enhancements would look. Hand renderings for the project were completed by Jim Richards, Townscape, Inc. Once improvements for each property were agreed upon, they were incorporated into the project plans. As a part of the contract, the city required the project team to host one formal public meeting. After giving an overview of the project, meeting attendees were invited to visit one-on-one with the design team to discuss the layouts of the project broken down into five sections. Rather than having just a few people make comments, this allowed everyone who attended an opportunity to ask questions and make comments. This approach, along with the individual meetings prior to the formal session, resulted in a positive response from the public about this project and excited for the improvements in Downtown Arlington.

Arlington Abram Street Hyperlapse from Parkhill on Vimeo.