Grand Junction’s North Avenue preps for streetscape improvements
North Avenue — a once burgeoning, now lagging hub for Grand Valley industry — will soon receive a much needed facelift.
With grant money in hand, the City of Grand Junction is currently prepping for streetscape reconstruction that will install detached sidewalks and beautify a three-mile stretch from First Street to 29 Road. A first phase of reconstruction, which is planned for next year, will take place from 12th Street to 23rd Street; it will likely cost more than $1 million, though pricing is still being determined.
“We’re working on the design right now,” said Dave Thornton, City of Grand Junction’s planning and development supervisor.
An open house to showcase upcoming modifications to North Avenue’s streetscape is planned for Monday, Nov. 10, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the hospitality suite at the Lincoln Park Tower.
According to Trent Prall, City of Grand Junction’s engineering manager, the upcoming project was made possible by a $1.19 million Federal Transportation Community and System Preservation Program (TCSP) grant awarded in 2013.
“The primary goal is to essentially add missing features to the road to make it a more complete street,” Prall explained. “A renovated street will be safe for all users — pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.”
The upgrade will include developing detached sidewalks on both sides of the street — south and north, he confirmed, which includes an eight-foot-wide detached sidewalk and an eight-foot-wide buffer. This is meant to promote and increase pedestrian and bike use throughout the area, which in recent years has become more known for disrepair and empty storefronts.
“It will definitely freshen up the look within the area,” Prall added, “and it will provide an opportunity to hopefully have landscaping between the sidewalk, curb and gutter.
“We’re looking for feedback at the open house.”
The City of Grand Junction recently received recognition for its North Avenue corridor plan as well, a city news release said, which was completed in 2011. The American Planning Association – Colorado Chapter presented the city with an award earlier this month.
“That vision included buildings located near the street, front doors facing North Avenue that are inviting and readily accessible, business signage on buildings, safe pedestrian facilities, and an inviting streetscape creating an environment of vitality and livability,” the news release continued.
Taco Bell, located at 850 North Ave., is currently upgrading its structure, voluntarily using the city’s 2011 overlay plan for improvements. Taco John’s, which is building a new structure at 1430 North Ave., is also using the plan.
“You’ll see a new look to Taco Bell, and the sidewalk is a really nice amenity,” Thornton said. “It feels a lot more comfortable.”
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