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ARLINGTON (CBS11) – A voter approved sales tax and a street repair philosophy targeting neighborhoods instead of just individual streets has transformed the Webb Britton Estates in southeast Arlington.

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Tuesday, kids with book bags walked home from school on new sidewalks and crossed completely rebuilt streets with freshly painted center stripes. A picture of the same piece of property just months ago shows there is no sidewalk. Kids walking home from school walked on the street. And that rough looking street was actually one of the better streets in the neighborhood.

The intersection near Nancy Binion’s home was pockmarked with potholes.

“Every time a car or truck or someone pulling a trailer you could hear them from the inside,” Binion said. “Just, ‘Bam, Bam! Bam, Bam!'”

Drainage was a huge problem too. Water used to pool up around Kris Minor’s mailbox.

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“And the flow from their house right there would be really bad,” Minor said pointing to the hill on his neighbors property that ran onto his and pooled.

And if you had a sidewalk, “You’d be walking and you’d go down and then you go up,” Binion said. “It was just awful!”

Arlington spent $3.5 million on a massive makeover. The money came from a 1/4 cent sales tax voters approved to repair languishing neighborhoods like this. Webb Britton is a model for how the city now targets an entire area for construction and then leaves it transformed — and in this case drier after a rainstorm.

“I would say it was like a dam before,” Minor said. “It would just back up. But now is just like free-flowing. It looked really nice actually.”

“We noticed the other day when we got all the rain, my husband looked out the window and he said, ‘Look! There’s no lake out there!'” Binion laughed. “So, it’s a great improvement. It’s SO nice.”

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