Abilene council to consider contractor for Elm Creek pedestrian bridge


ABILENE, Texas - Abilene City Council members could approve the contract and contractor for a pedestrian bridge over Elm Creek next to South Clack Street.

City council members approved the project back in October of 2015, which includes the bridge and a sidewalk. The contract they're considering is with Justice Construction in Abilene for just more than $352,000.

Jason Verner had a close call in that area while riding his bike home from work -- he said he was hit by a driver about three weeks ago.

"He actually ran a stop sign and spun me off into the road," Verner said. "My backpack kept my head from hitting the pavement."

He walked away without a scratch but his bike was destroyed.

Verner has to ride on the frontage road in that area for now, but that could change with plans to build a sidewalk from South 14th Street to 2626 South Clack Street, where the Betty Hardwick Center is located.

"I think that's a great idea," Verner said. "Every day I ride down Clack here, and everybody's pulling out here. They never look both ways for pedestrians or bikers."

"I think it creates a much better pedestrian flow," said Abilene City Manager Robert Hanna. "It makes an unsafe environment much safer for the public, and that is the impetus behind the project, primarily safety."

If the council signs off on the contract Thursday construction would begin in about a month and take 180 working days to complete. That's about nine months, weather permitting.

Verner had a request for drivers all over town, "Watch for pedestrians. Watch for bikers, man, we're everywhere."

The city council meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. Thursday at Abilene City Hall.

The contract will be the first item council members will consider at that meeting.

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