The Tyler City Council agreed in January to move forward with design work that could bring hundreds of additional parking spaces to the downtown area.
Chad Snyder with Walker Parking Consultants/Engineers, Inc. said the firm is about half way through the design phase, supported by local experts, Butler Architectural Group and Ballard and Braughton Engineering.
The completed project will provide about 427 additional spaces to downtown, but the key challenge now seems to be paying for it.
City engineer Carter Delleney said the law allows the municipality to establish a guaranteed maximum price, a cost estimated at $7 million or less, records show.
When completed, the multi-story Fair Plaza Garage parking structure, located at the southwest corner of Broadway Avenue and Elm Street, is expected to lessen parking headaches in the downtown area.
The initial parking study was funded through donations and a special downtown tax levy in Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone No. 2.
Funding for the overall project is expected to come from half-cent sales tax revenue, public private partnerships and special utility funding.
In other action items, the council agreed to ratify an agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration to apply for and receive about a $7 million grant for runway work at Tyler Pounds Regional Airport and related projects.
The council agreed to support the project with a local funding match not to exceed 10 percent.