City officials celebrated Tuesday morning the completion of a long-awaited traffic signal and crosswalk between the Tanger Outlet mall and the Premium Outlets mall.
After years of delay, the new pedestrian crosswalk, which is located on Centerpoint Road, will allow customers to more safely walk between the two shopping centers.
“This intersection probably sees the most pedestrian traffic out of any crosswalk in San Marcos,” said Sabas Avila, assistant director of Public Services Transportation division. “The outlet malls see nearly 14 million visitors a year and most of those visitors walk between the malls.”
The new pedestrian crosswalk crosses the large and busy Centerpoint Rd, connecting the sidewalks and driveways of Tanger Outlet and Premium Outlets and becoming the main crossing point.
“We’ve always had a very strong pedestrian traffic between the two centers” said John Larson, general manager of Tanger Outlet. “One of the main comments customers have told Tanger Outlet that there should be easier access between the two centers.”
Larson said the new crosswalk will add to the safety of the main intersection of the Tanger Outlet mall.
Through a partnership between San Marcos and Tanger Outlet officials, the $289,00 project was completed after being delayed for a couple of years due to lack of funding.
Construction on the project did not begin until after Tanger Outlet officials approached city officials offering to fund a large portion of the project.
“The City of San Marcos appreciates Tanger Outlet mall’s contribution for this much needed project,” Avila said. “This project will provide the 13 million shoppers that visit the outlet malls each year a safe pedestrian crossing between the two major attractions.”
Tanger Outlet officials contributed $73,333 and on Nov. 3, 2015 Austin Traffic Signal Construction and Castro Lopez Concrete LLC officials were able to break ground on the project.
“This was a project that was needed for quite a while, but due to lack of funding it was pushed back a few years,” Avila said.
The project was completed in almost six months with little interference to traffic from the outlets.
“They did an exceptional job coordinating all of the efforts of the construction,” Larson said.
The new traffic signal includes features such as audible pedestrian push buttons, ADA compliant pedestrian ramps and GPS emergency preemption. It also includes high-speed radio communication, video detection with bike presence capabilities and LED crosswalk lighting.
“We’ve always had a very strong pedestrian traffic between the two centers,” Larson said. “The new LED lighting lights up the intersection at night. That’s not something we’ve had at the crosswalk, it makes it much safer at night and adds to the ambiance to the new crosswalk.”