Friday, November 14, 2008

E Street project goes into deep freeze

The Muni, through its website Destination Downtown, is reporting that the E Street Corridor Project is on hold. Thankfully, unlike the recent halting of projects around the country such as a major skyscraper project in Chicago (or for a more local level, the cancellation of Costco in Wasilla), the E Street project is NOT being canceled due to the economy or poor planning. As any Alaskan would know, "it's the snow, stupid". Construction shall resume in the Spring. Meanwhile here's some pics I took on how the project is shaping up so far with three personal observations that pop out to me:

First off, it appears the corridor will be losing the specially designed green light poles. The unique poles looked awesome when I was a young child, but just the other day I was thinking about how they have aged with their 80s look and that they should be replaced with traditional poles to integrate Downtown with the rest of the city. Next thing I know, I drive by 5th and E a few days later and see what appears to be the installation of new poles (stumps for now).

Perspective really helps in understanding just what is going down and I can't think of anything better to prove that than this shot of the new street curb placed further away from its original location. It looks like the new sidewalk will take up what was formally metered parking along with the right lane of old E Street.

Last, the intersection of 6th and E looks to be complete. Unlike the blueprints however, I don't see the darker colored bricks that were to be placed so as to appear pointing towards Town Square. Another thing worthy of mentioning is that the crosswalks are not just painted onto the bricks. They're actual slabs of concrete which I suppose makes sense considering the uneven brick surface that the intersections of 6th & E and 5th & E now present.

By the way for those interested to learn more about the specific project I was referring to in Chicago, check it out here.

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