By TRAVIS M. WHITEHEAD Valley Morning Star
HARLINGEN, TX — The city is working on the first of a series of beautification projects that began Monday with work on a traffic island on Commerce Street.
Workers are removing the asphalt and will replace it with pavers and artificial grass, city engineer Javier Zamora said, describing it as a “demo project.”
Dan Serna, public works director, said the Commerce Street project is being done by SYNLawn to demonstrate what this kind of beautification can look like.
Bright orange traffic cones ringed with reflective tape mark off the boundaries of a traffic island at the intersection of Commerce and Taft street Monday. The island, long filled with asphalt and loose gravel, is getting a facelift courtesy of a company called SYNLawn. The company will replace the asphalt with artificial grass and pavers as the city of Harlingen begins a multimillion-dollar effort to beautify various spots across the city. (Dina Arevalo/Valley Morning Star) Photographed Monday, January 21, 2013.
SYNLawn, he said is doing the work at no charge to the city, but the city is spending $10,000 for pavers.
The company is spending $28,000 of its own money to remove the asphalt and install the artificial grass.
“They are providing us with an opportunity to look at the finished product, to see what the product is going to do for us,” Serna said, adding that a benefit of artificial grass is that no mowing or irrigation.
He said the entire beautification project will include several overpasses, traffic islands, and gateways into the community.
Zamora added that other projects will include the medians near Morgan Avenue and Business 77 and some areas near Expressway 83 and Harrison and Tyler avenues.
The entire beautification project will cost $6,346,620, for which Zamora said the city has applied for a $5,077,296 Transportation Enhancement Program grant from the Texas Department of Transportation.
Serna said if the city is awarded the grant, the state will administer solicit bids from companies, including SYNLawn, to do the work.
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