TYLER, Texas (KETK) — Residents and drivers who often encounter the Cambridge Road Improvement Project in Tyler are frustrated. The construction is causing people to take extensive detours and experience traffic delays. 

The City of Tyler came up with the project to benefit people in the area. Cambridge Road is being widened and crews are adding a center turn lane for driveway access. The project also spans from Broadway to Jeff Davis Drive.

Sidewalks are also to be added to each side of Cambridge Road. Additional concrete will be put down to help with storm erosion and storm sewer drainage improvements. A large water line from Broadway Avenue to Jeff Davis Drive is also going to be installed for utility improvement.  

“The traffic backs up constantly and on the weekends it’s terrible,” said Gerald Coughlin, who often commutes to the area.

A resident living on Cambridge is very concerned and said she has not received much communication on the project.

“The project has been going on a long time. It is just one delay after the other and one story after the other and doesn’t seem to be working out the way we were initially told the project would go,” the resident stated.

She also added that she has clocked the detour, and it adds about an additional mile to her route.

“They have had good weather. It hasn’t rained, so I don’t think they should be this far behind,” said the resident.

If people’s water needs to be shut off for construction they will know 24-48 hours in advance. Although the project is a long process the city of Tyler wants drivers to know it will be beneficial. The plan is for the project to be completed by April 2023.

Below we have the frequently asked questions about the project, from the city of Tyler Website.

Will this meeting be recorded for viewing at a later date?

This meeting will be recorded and transcribed. The video, transcription, and any additional questions sent to the engineering department will be posted on the projects page as they become available.

Will Cambridge Road have a complete overlay or replacement of the asphalt surface?

Yes. Cambridge Road will be widened to 40’ and will included new pavement for the full length of the project.

What kind of notification will be given before construction starts?

Electronic message boards will be placed at both ends of the project one week before construction starts to warn motorists of the upcoming start date.

How will trash pickup be handled?

Trash pickup will continue as scheduled. The collection bins may need to be placed on the active side of the street.

How will I get my mail?

During construction, the contractor will install temporary mailboxes for property owners while the section of road immediately adjacent to their property is closed. Therefore, mail delivery will continue as normal.

Will I be able to access my driveway during construction?

All driveway access will be maintained throughout the project. If the contractor feels it is necessary to block access, it will be temporary, and they will coordinate with the owners beforehand.

Who is responsible for repairing damages to personal property?

Per the construction contract, all damages to personal property due to construction are the responsibility of the contractor. Any damages should be reported to the on-site construction inspector, who will be there daily.

Does this include damage to my irrigation/sprinkler system?

Yes. The contractor is responsible for maintenance and repair of private irrigation/sprinkler systems during construction.

Will there be any utility shut offs?

Temporary water shut offs will occur as the new water main is installed and existing lines are connected to it. Disruption to water service will be minimized as much as possible and affected residents will be informed 24-48 hours in advance. Shut offs for other utilities, such as gas, will be managed by their respective companies.

Will Cambridge Road be accessible to 18-wheeler traffic once construction is complete?

Per City of Tyler Ordinance Section 17-121 – Truck Routes, Cambridge Road is not a designated truck route, therefore 18-wheeler traffic is prohibited.

Will the height difference between Broadway Avenue and Cambridge Road be corrected?

The elevation of Cambridge Road at the intersection of Broadway Avenue will be lowered. In addition, a valley gutter will be installed at that intersection.

Will the turn width into Radcliffe Drive increase?

Currently, the width of Radcliffe Drive is about 21′, and it will be increased to 29′ at the intersection of Cambridge Road. This will also increase the radius off Cambridge Road to allow for more comfortable turning.

What will be done about the large amount of water coming across Radcliffe Drive?

About 250 feet of storm drain and curb inlets will be installed along Radcliffe Drive to catch the water coming from the south and east.

Are utilities going to be installed underground?

All city utilities involved in this project will be installed underground, apart from the drainage channel located east of Potomac Drive.

Will the proposed improvements affect the speed limit of Cambridge Road after completion?

The current speed limit of Cambridge Road is 30 miles per hour (mph). This is established by the Texas Transportation Code and by City Ordinance for residential streets. The speed limit will remain 30 mph after the improvements are completed. Residents are encouraged to report speeding to the Tyler Police Department at (903) 531-1090.

Will there be any street lights installed?

There are no planned streetlights for this project.

When will the stop sign at the intersection of Cambridge Road and Jeff Davis Drive be installed?

We are going to put up temporary four-way stop signs at the intersection of Cambridge Road and Jeff Davis at the beginning of the project (approximately mid-January). They will be up through the duration of the project, then at the end, we will be installing permanent four-way stop signs.

Is this project fully funded through all phases?

This project is fully funded through all phases with the City’s Half Cent Sales Tax program. This program allows the city to get 0.5% of every penny of sales tax that is generated in the City of Tyler. This allows the city to do projects throughout the city, whether it be street projects, drainage project, parks, fire stations, new police stations etc. It allows projects to be funded by paying cash rather than going out for bonds or other forms of funding.

How will you allow access to Cambridge Bend Subdivision when working in the front of the subdivision?

During construction in front of the Cambridge Bridge Subdivision, one half of the entrance will be shut down, while allowing two-way traffic through the other side. Once construction is complete in front of that half, the other side will be shut down and used for two-way traffic.

Why is this project taking so long to complete?

This project includes the widening of the street, and the installation of curb and gutter and sidewalks, as well as a lot of underground work involving water, sewer, and storm sewer installation. Due to the amount of people who live in this area, it is not an option to shut the road down completely, nor is it an option for the contractor to work extended hours (early mornings, at night, etc.). This increases the time needed for construction.

Will there be a stop light installed at Cambridge Road and Broadway Avenue?

There is not a signal planned at this intersection as part of this project. Broadway Avenue is owned by TxDOT, so the installation of a traffic signal as the intersection would require the approval of TxDOT. TxDOT may include a traffic signal or other types of intersection improvements as part of a future project to improve South Broadway Avenue.

Will a dedicated right turn lane from Broadway Avenue onto Cambridge Road be constructed?

Not at this time. Improvements to that intersection may be constructed by TxDOT as part of a future project to improve South Broadway Avenue.

How will access to side streets be handled during construction?

During construction, access to all the driveways and side streets along the route will be maintained at all times. There may be a time, particularly for the individual driveways, when construction may require blocking access. The contractor and inspector will discuss and coordinate in advance of the access closure.

Are there any plans to resurface or widen Jeff Davis Drive?

At this time, there are no plans to resurface or widen Jeff Davis Drive. It is currently being evaluated for future improvements though.

What about Southland Drive?

There are also no plans for resurfacing or widening Southland Drive as part of this project.

Will there be an increase in police surveillance in the area to alleviate speeding?

We will talk to the police department about increased patrolling through the area during construction. Residents are encouraged to report speeding to the Tyler Police Department at (903) 531-1090.

Has an environmental impact study been done?

Environmental impact studies are generally only required for projects receiving federal funding. This project is being funded with cash through the City’s Half Cent Sales Tax program. However, the project was reviewed by the US Army Corps of Engineers under Section 404 of the Clean Waters Act and was qualified for Nationwide Permit 14 for Linear Transportation Projects. In addition, the project was reviewed by the Texas Historical Commission under the Antiquities Code of Texas and received the appropriate Antiquities Permit.

Why was a center turn lane chosen over wider through lanes or bicycle lanes?

Due to the amount of traffic and the number of side streets and driveways on Cambridge Road, providing a center turn lane will increase safety for all drivers by moving those trying to turn left out of the main travel lanes. In addition, the City will be installing a dedicated bicycle lane from Cumberland Road to Grande Boulevard along Townhouse, East Heritage, Baylor, Karen, Barbee, and Sutherland Drives. This should help move bicycle traffic off of Cambridge Road.