TYLER, Texas (KETK) - Tyler Mayor Martin Heines, City Council members, and the Tyler community celebrated infrastructure week and a #TimeToBuild at this year’s State of the City event.
The topic that sparked the attention of many in the crowd were the improvement plans to renovate and rebuild Broadway Ave.
"It's a headache. It's actually a headache," said Tyler man Kimmy Cooksey.
We've all been there.
Sitting in traffic on Broadway Ave.
That road somehow making minutes seem like hours.
"I try to take an alternative route," Gloria Allen.
During Heines' speech he said, "That road (Broadway) is the 67th most congested road in Texas and the most congested in East Texas."
The City is teaming up with TxDot to conduct a feasibility study for improvements beginning at Amherst Dr. stretching 5 miles south all the way to FM 2813.
TxDot's Tyler District director of construction said, "We're working with the community. We want to get input form local citizens to what they want to see done."
"One short year ago we came together in this room to cast vision toward our future. We gave voice to the growing challenges we face in the maintenance of our roads, water systems, drainage, and more,” the mayor said. “As we know all too well, time moves quickly. The future does not wait. But in Tyler, neither do we. Today it is Time to Build.”
As part of his annual State of the City Address, he announced that the City of Tyler will begin to modernize its aging Traffic Signal System.
“We can no longer afford to be complacent about our Traffic Signal Systems,” said Heines.
The 160 light poles and control boxes that make up the current system must be synchronized by hand, causing headaches for staff and commuters.
The Mayor says he expects to see technology utilized to create a system where programming and monitoring can be done remotely.
“I have asked our City staff to put together a proposal for the half-cent sales tax board to modernize this system,” he said. “The integration of smart technology within our traffic system will improve traffic flow and allow us to monitor from one central location.”
The Mayor also shared progress made toward the goal of rebuilding Tyler’s streets, drainage, water and sewer systems.
“Last year we spent $20 million dollars, 13 percent of the City’s total budget, on maintenance, repair, and improvements to Tyler’s infrastructure,” he said. “No other city in the State of Texas can claim this achievement.”
Heines also spoke of the need to not only continue, but increase community investment in infrastructure maintenance and repair.
“Infrastructure isn’t an exciting topic, but it impacts every aspect of our daily lives,” he said. “Our jobs, quality of life, economic competitiveness and public safety are all dependent upon it.”
The City provided their annual report to attendees in English and Spanish, outlining organizational progress city-wide. Council Members outlined key project progress in their districts through a video presentation as part of the program.
“Mayors and City Council members work from the bottom-up to make things happen. It is our job to bring people together to create consensus and opportunity for all,” he concluded. “I am excited about today. The future is here. It’s time to build Tyler, together."
TxDot tells KETK News that a public forum will be held to voice your concerns and opinions for this stretch of road.
We will keep you updated when the date is set.