After working with Hayden Consultants on a small turn-lane project on Hillcrest Road in Dallas, Alberta Blair, P.E., assistant director of public works for Dallas County, was impressed with the firm’s responsiveness. So when it was time to begin design work on Industrial Boulevard just west of downtown Dallas, Blair and her team chose Hayden.
“They did a good job on the Hillcrest project,” she says. “They were very attentive, and were a very good group to work with in the sense of partnering with us and knowing how to work with our process and procedures. It feels like they have become a part of our staff.”
For the Industrial Boulevard project, Hayden’s 2006 feasibility study for Dallas County determined the best improvements for the roadway widening, looking at alternative alignments, lane configurations, traffic projections and construction costs. But what started out as a straightforward reconstruction and widening job has since evolved into an extremely complex urban thoroughfare project that will transform an industrial area into a new urban residential main street, soon to be called Riverfront Boulevard.
The roadway improvements are based on new zoning along Industrial Boulevard, a Planned Development District that was formerly zoned industrial. The proposed new design includes a wide, landscaped, pedestrian-friendly parkway that will accommodate future streetcars. Sustainable design elements, such as bioswales in the medians, are also being considered.
The Industrial Boulevard project involves about one and a half miles of reconstruction, with widening from six to eight lanes. The context-sensitive project has involved “intense” utility, drainage, railroad, zoning, transit and other issues. At the same time, the project has called for coordination with nearby neighborhoods and businesses, including the American Airlines Center, Continental Avenue and Victory Park.
“Hayden Consultants has been with us throughout the whole process,” Blair says. “They have been acting as part of our staff and working closely with us as this project has become a full eight-lane boulevard with many facets to it, and a major emphasis on tying in with Dallas’ Trinity River Project. Hayden has done their homework, been to the public meetings and has been involved in the entire process to understand the full context. They’re concerned about the impact on the entire region, which reflects our core values. We appreciate them for that.”
Currently, Hayden Consultants is designing the eight-lane divided thoroughfare, preparing construction plans and specifications in accordance with “Forward Dallas,” a new comprehensive plan for the city that encourages context-sensitive design.
“There are many, many layers with this project,” Blair says. ““One thing we try to do here is work side-by-side with engineers and planning at the same time, so we can be sure that we build something that’s feasible and can be implemented. Hayden understands that and the role we play to deliver a project, and works closely with us from that standpoint.”
According to Blair, Hayden Consultants has embraced Dallas County’s values and processes so completely, they’re now considered an extension of the Dallas County team.
“I have really enjoyed working with Rachel Hayden and her team,” Blair says. “It’s been an amazing journey from day one. We’ve watched them grow from a small consultancy to a good-sized firm that walks the walk and talks the talk. At the same time, they’re still small enough to understand what’s needed and be responsive. They still have the same values and, like us, are striving to make a difference for this community.”