Starting this week, contractors for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will begin construction on a new signal light and crosswalk at the intersection of Washington and St. Felix streets as part of a project to improve safety for pedestrians crossing the thoroughfare bordering the Tarleton State University campus.

Motorists traveling along Washington Street and entering the university campus via St. Felix Street are advised to use caution for the duration of the $125,000 project, which is expected to be completed by mid-August.

According to TxDOT officials, no road closures are expected as part of the project, however, brief lane closures may affect traffic flow during the hanging and installation of the new traffic signals above Washington Street.

Along with the installation of new traffic lights and Accessible Pedestrian Signals at the intersection, contractors for Tarleton will install new sidewalks along Washington Street adjacent to the Cecil Ballow Baseball Complex, and along St. Felix Streets. The newly installed crosswalks will include handicap accessible ramps and devices that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Similar to the traffic control devices recently installed at the Washington-Lillian intersection, TxDOT will again deploy Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS) at the St. Felix intersection. APS is a device that communicates information about pedestrian signal timing in non-visual format such as audible tones, verbal messages or vibrating surfaces that aid the visually impaired when using the crosswalk.

Primarily designed to provide for a safe passage for pedestrians crossing Washington Street to Tarleton’s campus and its athletic and Horticulture Center facilities, as well as Parking Lots P25 and P34 North and P34 South located south of the roadway, TxDOT has included a full traffic signal as part of the project.

The signal at the St. Felix intersection will include a signal detection system, which will be synced with both the Lillian and Harbin intersections’ traffic signals, however, actuated signals will be installed at the crosswalk allowing for pedestrians to use a pushbutton detection system to activate the safe crossing signage.

New, six-foot-wide sidewalks will be added on the south side of Washington Street beginning at the Harbin Street intersection leading pedestrians to the new crosswalk at St. Felix Street, and along the east side of St. Felix from Washington to Sloan Street. The project calls for concrete sidewalks, excluding a portion in front of the Tarleton Horticulture Center that will be built using crushed stone to match existing landscaping around the facility.

In conjunction with the traffic signal and sidewalk projects, Tarleton will begin construction on three additional parking lots to provide approximately 150 new spaces. The location of the new parking lots and their designation include: corner of Lillian and Shirley streets, Lot P42 (90 spaces); corner of Jones and Cain streets, Lot P43 (32 spaces); and an expansion of Lot P39 near the intersection of Tarleton and St. Felix streets.

Contractors anticipate P42 and P43 to be substantially completed by the end of August. The expansion of P39 is expected to be finished by mid-September.