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To assist businesses promoting their operations, there is a temporary suspension of the sign ordinance enforcement for businesses within the construction area. This allows businesses to use signage such as A-frames, flags and banners. While enforcement is suspended during this construction period, placement of signs should not unnecessarily block sidewalks or interfere with traffic on the street or in the construction areas.
The project originated with the 2008 Irving Boulevard Enhancement Study, which established the vision for redevelopment of this significant corridor from Loop 12 on the east to its terminus at State Highway (SH) 183. Recommendations included a more diversified, pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use neighborhood in the area and improvement to the urban fabric and connections along the Irving Boulevard Corridor.
The study identified needed infrastructure improvements, recommended streetscape enhancements and introduced both short- and long-range land parcel redevelopment strategies all geared toward stimulating and sustaining the revitalization effort. This effort was continued with the Gateway Planning Heritage Crossing initiative, and included refinements to the plan, rezoning, and public land dispositions.
On Dec. 10, 2010, the Irving City Council designated Tax Increment Financing Reinvestment Zone Number Two (“Irving Boulevard TIF” or “TIF 2”), by City Ordinance 2010-9229. The TIF was created to develop an attractive, sustainable urban core, and it identified the main public improvement project as the reconstruction of the section of Irving Boulevard running though the Heritage Crossing district into a multimodal urban corridor to help promote downtown revitalization
This will transform the highway into a roadway to accommodate vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle traffic by reducing the number of vehicle lanes to two and using the remaining right-of-way for parallel parking, wider sidewalks, a bike lane, and streetscape amenities.
Infrastructure improvements include reducing the number of lanes; installing wider sidewalks; increasing the number of on-street parking spots; installing a bike lane; enhancing pedestrian mobility via sidewalks, landscaping and light signalization; and revamping the current sewer, water and stormwater infrastructure along the project area.
The City of Irving is investing more than $20 million dollars into this public improvement project.
A combination of city funds and a $12 million grant from the Regional Transportation Council (RTC) through its fiscal agent the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) will provide the advance funding for the reconstruction of Irving Boulevard from Sowers Road to Strickland Plaza.
This grant will allow for advanced funding to begin the Irving Boulevard Reconstruction. Per the terms of the Interlocal Agreement (ILA), the City of Irving will contribute funds to NCTCOG if and when funds are available in the TIF fund. Contributions from the City of Irving to RTC, via NCTCOG, for the grant are outlined within the ILA between the two entities.
The project limits extend from Sowers Road to Strickland Plaza. The limits for O’Connor Road are from Rock Island Road to 2nd Street. The limits for Britain Road from the railroad line to 2nd Street.
Project Design began in early 2020, with an intended design completion deadline of mid-2021. Once the design phase has ended, construction would begin shortly after. The intended completion date for the project is mid-2023. Additionally, the city will provide informational updates on the status of the project on its website.
There will be new pedestrian and street lighting along both sides of the roadway.
The traffic signals within the project limits are being upgraded. The project also will have new upgraded pedestrian signals and handicapped accessible crosswalks.
The designer is working on construction phasing to balance the disruption to traffic and businesses with the overall construction timeline. The contractor will work with the property owners on reconstructing and redirecting driveways that will be impacted by the project.
The city is working with DART on maintaining bus stops along Irving Boulevard.
The design includes continuous sidewalks and landscaping on both sides of Irving Boulevard from Strickland to Sowers where there is no driveway or street/alley intersection.
The scope of this project is broad and includes paving and utility replacement as well as other excavation that could affect tree roots and overall health. There may be some instances where trees can be preserved, but it is possible that many will be impacted by this development.
The current plan proposes a large number of new trees along the entire length of the corridor. As the plan documentation continues to evolve the team will have a better idea of which trees may be able to be preserved.
The City of Irving will hold a virtual public meeting to provide a project update and to receive public comment. The meeting will be held online, and the public can access the site at any time during the meeting dates. The virtual meeting can be found on the city’s project website at CityofIrving.org/IrvingBlvd.
Contact the City of Irving Economic Development Project Administrator Imelda Speck via email.