PHOTO #1: A concept rendering shows the proposed design for new landscaping on Loop 463 near Navarro Street.
PHOTO #2: An upcoming TxDOT beautification project on Loop 463 will extend from 0.02 miles west of U.S. Highway 77 (Navarro Street) to 0.7 miles east of Navarro Street.
PHOTO #3: The City of Victoria Environmental Services in November replanted the flowerbeds on Loop 463 near Navarro Street. More beds and landscaping will be added through an upcoming partnership with TxDOT.
PHOTO #4: A flowerbed that was replanted in November by the City of Victoria Environmental Services faces the Loop 463 eastbound frontage road between Navarro Street and John Stockbauer Drive.
The newly replanted flowerbeds on the Loop add color to many Victorians’ daily commutes—and thanks to a new Texas Department of Transportation project, there’s more where that came from.
The City of Victoria last week finalized an agreement with TxDOT to help fund a beautification project along 0.72 miles of Loop 463 near Navarro Street. The project will add new beds and brighten existing beds by adding trees, flowers and other landscaping elements.
Seeds of economic development
During the development of Plan 2035, residents expressed a desire to improve community image along key roadway corridors. The comprehensive plan affirms the importance of “quality of place” enhancements, which help to promote business.
The beautification project is located in a key retail area that includes the future site of a shopping center that is expected to generate $700,000 in local tax revenue per year.
“This project goes hand in hand with our efforts to promote economic development in this area and throughout the city,” said Assistant City Manager Mike Etienne. “Improving our community’s appearance will encourage people to visit or perhaps settle down in Victoria, and it also helps to make our city more attractive to business investments.”
A TxDOT project…
Funding for the project is supported by TxDOT’s Green Ribbon Program with participation from the City. Under this program, TxDOT works with local governments to add landscaping to state-operated highways.
The City will contribute $200,000 toward the cost of the $516,000 project. TxDOT will maintain the landscaping for one year. After that, the City will assume responsibility for maintenance.
…with a splash of local color
As the name suggests, the Green Ribbon Program emphasizes greenery such as trees that help to improve air quality. However, because of the project’s central location, City staff worked with TxDOT to ensure the project would have an entryway-style design complete with lighting, decorative walls and eye-catching color.
Environmental Services’ Community Appearance Division helped to coordinate the design to match existing flowerbeds and other landscaping in the city. Parks & Recreation Director Jason Alfaro also provided design input based on his experience as a certified arborist and his past participation in Green Ribbon initiatives in Jersey Village and Bastrop.
Here comes the bloom
Construction is expected to begin in the fall and finish in spring 2022. The flowers will develop over time and are expected to bloom into a full burst of color within a year or two.