Transformation of 108th Street to Capital Boulevard Begins
July 27, 2011
The City of Edmonton is investing $17.6 million to transform a five block stretch of 108th Street downtown into Capital Boulevard, a ceremonial street inspired by world famous public spaces in Washington D.C., Rome, Moscow and London.
“Downtown Edmonton is everyone's neighbourhood. It's our place to gather, to celebrate and to mark our milestones,” says Stephane Labonne, Director of the Office of Great Neighbourhoods. “The views on this downtown boulevard will be striking -- the Alberta Legislature building and its reflective ponds on the south and the signature towers of MacEwan University on the north.”
The transformation of 108th Street is expected to be complete for the 100th anniversary of Alberta's legislature building in September 2012. Capital Boulevard will connect to the new Government of Alberta public plaza being built as part of its Edmonton Federal Building redevelopment project. The new landscaped plaza, south of 99th Avenue, will include 100 fountains, ice rink and indoor and outdoor public gathering space.
“Capital Boulevard will increase downtown public space,” says Brian Van Sickle, Senior Urban Designer with the Sustainable Development department. “The streetscape changes we’re doing will make it possible for people to stroll, sit and visit in an attractive, pedestrian-friendly area.”
When completed, Capital Boulevard will feature broad tree-lined sidewalks, enhanced street and sidewalk lighting, mid block pedestrian crossings, bike racks, and street furnishings such as benches.
Construction of Capital Boulevard is part of the City's $200 million investment this year in 96 neighbourhoods to improve streets, sidewalks, street lights, drainage systems and amenities that increase the livability of Edmonton neighbourhoods.
“The number of people living in the downtown neighbourhood has doubled in the past decade. More people work in the downtown neighbourhood than any other in Edmonton,” says Labonne. “The City's $17.6 million investment provides the amenities that will help attract more people to live downtown. It puts the downtown at the leading edge of transforming Edmonton's urban form which will also help shift transportation modes.”
Capital Boulevard is a catalyst project of the City of Edmonton's new Downtown Plan and advances the goal of creating a vibrant, well designed, sustainable and accessible downtown.
“The construction we’re doing beautifies the streetscape and addresses some necessary roadwork repairs that will extend the street's life span,” says Paul Szczepanski, Director of Arterial Roads, Roads Design and Construction Branch, Transportation Services. “We thank residents and businesses in this area for their patience during the construction season.”
In 2011, construction will focus on the south leg of 108th Street from Jasper Avenue through to 99 Avenue. In 2012, improvements will be made north of Jasper Avenue through to 104th Avenue and to 99 Avenue between 107 and 109 Streets. Information about the Capital Boulevard project is available online.