Downtown 'officially' reopens, but not to vehicles yet

By Greg Higgins
October 16, 2017 - 2:00pm

Mayor Ryan Bater cut the ceremonial red ribbon today to officially reopen the “downtown T” to the public this morning. But with one glaring exception — the roads aren’t ready for vehicular traffic yet.

City administration along with council, invited residents to congregate downtown and be a part of the reopening of the downtown that has been under construction since June. According to previous statements from city administration, today was supposed to be the day foot and car traffic was allowed back on the roads.

But according to Bater, there is still some work to do before it is completely reopen to traffic.

“I think we are looking at later this week,” Bater said. “Of course, it is all up to the contractors to get the work done. We had some delays due to weather last week, but I think we expect by this weekend we will have traffic open.”

The area includes 101 St. from 11 Ave. to 12 Ave., and on 12 Ave. from 100 St. to 102 St. 

Aside from the hiccup, which will now be at least a two-week delay for vehicle traffic from the initial timeline, Bater was pleased to see the work come together.

“I didn’t want the moment to end,” Bater said. “This was one of the first projects this new council came together on. It wasn’t approved until late winter, early spring and we didn’t want to delay any work.”

The overall project was a combination of Underground Pipes and Asphalt Replacement (UPAR) and the Downtown Revitalization Master Plan. The city had already planned on replacing pipes under the “downtown T” so they thought it was best to revitalize it to save time and money.

According to Bater, this is just the beginning of the master plan.

“Revitalization begins with a face lift and this is just phase one of the plan,” Bater said. “As we enter budget discussions in the coming weeks we [council] will be talking about the next phase.”

As for what part of the city is on the docket for the “next phase” Bater couldn’t give a definitive answer. He said it will most likely involve 100 St. or continuing 101 St., but it depends what part of the city needs UPAR work the most, as the city would like to combine both projects again.


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