Safe and accessible pedestrian and bicycle routes were almost entirely nonexistent in the City of Hico. In this small community of less than 1,500 people, this lack of pedestrian infrastructure presented a challenge to students who walked or biked to Hico Elementary. The City pursued and was awarded a federal grant through the Safe Routes to School Program administered by TxDOT. With KSA’s close relationship with the City and extensive experience under the Safe Routes to School Program, the partnership was created between KSA Engineers, Inc. and Hico to develop the most successful pedestrian infrastructure project for Hico’s students and community at large.
KSA studied and designed multiple pedestrian routes – over 3,500 linear feet of sidewalks and associated improvements – to determine the most efficient, ADA accessible, and safe route for students to walk and bike to school. These multiple routes were bid using an “add alternate” schedule allowing the City to take maximum advantage of the favorable construction costs at the time of bidding. Design and construction challenges included very narrow right-of-way, existing utilities, and very poor existing storm drainage. These challenges were met with quick and innovative design and construction solutions that resulted in a successful project that will provide a lasting benefit to the students and citizens of the City of Hico.