The City of Corpus Christi released Friday artist renditions of the planned changes that will be made to Ocean Drive between Louisiana and Buford.
The changes were approved by voters in a 2012 bond referendum. The six lanes of traffic on Ocean Drive will be converted into a four-lane highway with expanded bike lanes and sidewalks.
Tom Neagli, owner of Bay Area Bicycles, is an avid cyclist and is on the City's Pedestrian Mobility Committee. He says the proposed changes will be welcomed by residents and tourists alike, and are long overdue.
"Widening the bicycle lane and decreasing or making the median a little smaller. I think it's terrific," Neagli said. "Ocean Drive has always been a tourist street, if you want to call it. Anyone who comes to town, they're going to make an Ocean Drive ride."
Despite the plans presented at a meeting Thursday night, City Engineer Dan Biles says the design work is not complete. With a traffic count of nearly 25,000 trips a day, engineers may consider something like a traffic circle to ease congestion at one of the busier intersections.
"A gentleman brought up that you can't turn left off of Ocean onto Louisiana, and that's actually a main route to Del Mar," Biles said. "Well, that actually, when we started thinking about it, that actually makes sense. So we're looking to see how we can actually incorporate that into the project, where you can make all the movements there at Ocean and Louisiana as opposed to just the movements you can make today."
Biles said the work on that stretch of Ocean would only begin once the relocation of Shoreline Drive is nearly complete. The design work is expected to be completed next year, and the construction could be completed in 2015.