ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – In Abilene City Council’s new year meeting, new sidewalks, pedestrian and bicyclist safety, as well as airport renovations topped the list of major improvements coming to Abilene in 2023.

Safety improvements for Abilene pedestrians

Street improvements were a priority during the first City Council meeting of 2023, beginning with the reconstruction of Maple Street.

Director of Public Works, Max Johnson said Maple Street will be reconstructed from Colony Hill all the way to Loop 322. Colony Hill will receive a new traffic signal, while also seeing a 10-foot-wide multi-purpose lane being installed on the west side of the road. Water drainage was also considered, as well.

South 14th Street could, also, soon see pedestrian improvements, including new sidewalks. Johnson said two pedestrian bridges could be in the works, as well as new crosswalks and signals between Pioneer Drive and Barrow Street on South 14th Street.

What’s going on with the old Borden building?

Secondly, what was once the Borden Company Creamery on Pioneer Drive will soon become an age-restricted apartment complex.

Developers said they are searching for historical tax credits to keep the historical exterior intact while the interior is renovated, tear down the small surrounding buildings, and build a new facility directly behind the current building.

Improvements at Abilene Regional Airport

As growth continues to occur north of Abilene, part of the expansion is coming from the Abilene Airport. Director of Transportation Services, Don Green said restroom renovations, repainting the entire interior of the terminal and a potential convenience store begins phase one of the airport’s modernization.

In Monday’s meeting, city officials asked City Council to approve roughly $2.7 million dollars for the first phase of renovations, with about 90% of the money coming from federal aviation administration grants.

As for the convenient store, a local group of investors contacted the airport about a potential partnership, agreeing to a 40-year lease if approved by City Council. Bowies LLC., the same gas station/ convenience store being built in Tuscola, will be coming to the Abilene Airport.

Bowies will oversee building the facility, as well as creating a new access road where the new entrance to the airport would be located at the intersection of Highway 36 and FM 18.

The Abilene Airport will receive a 1% concession fee off fuel and food sales from the convenience store, as well.

Click here for the full list of what will be presented at Thursday’s (January 12) Abilene City Council meeting.