Celebration time for Big H project

Written by Bill Rautenstrauch, The Observer December 05, 2012 01:01 pm

Streetscape work included installation of new street lighting, benches, bike racks and trash receptacles. CHRIS BAXTER - The Observer
Streetscape work included installation of new street lighting, benches, bike racks and trash receptacles. CHRIS BAXTER - The Observer

Ribbon cutting at 4 p.m. Thursday at Elm and Adams marks completion of downtown streetscape work 

The City of La Grande’s “Big H” streetscape project gets its official unveiling Thursday, as the City, La Grande Main Street and Mike Becker General Contractor throw a celebration marking the project’s completion. 

“This is your opportunity to meet the contractor and project team and to show appreciation to the downtown businesses that have patiently endured six months of construction,” said Charlie Mitchell, City of La Grande Community and Economic Development Director.

Earlier this year, the La Grande Urban Renewal Agency voted to go ahead with the project, which included a rebuild of sidewalks and alley approaches on Elm and Depot Streets between Washington Avenue and Jefferson Avenue. 

The project also took in the section of Adams Avenue between Elm and Depot, the north side of Washington between Elm and Depot, and the two alleys that run between Elm and Depot on either side of Adams. Other work included utility trenching and conduit, new street lighting, and site furnishings including benches, bike racks and trash receptacles.

The Urban Renewal Agency funded the project with a $1 million loan from Wedbush Securities, and also a grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation that paid for reconstruction of alleyway approaches.

Thursday’s celebration gets under way with a 4 p.m. ribbon cutting at the Bohnenkamp Building at the corner of Elm Street and Adams Avenue. An unveiling of the new street lights is set to happen at 5 p.m., with open house mingling in downtown businesses to follow. 

Refreshments and complimentary gifts will be provided as the public interacts with project participants, downtown business owners and staff.