I took a walk down the entire length last week and took too many pictures. This post, from August, has some reference pictures as to what it looked like a year ago. Be warned, this post is long.
The north part has totally been removed. The center part looks disconcerting, with plenty of mall left but lots of destruction. The southern end has already progressed to the point that concrete is being laid for the parking areas.
The speed of this project has surprised me. Kicking off was a year delayed (original completion date was next month) but they've since moved quickly after a March groundbreaking. That's certainly good for the businesses which are in a bad shape right now. However, I was surprised to see how superficial the construction was. It appears that they scraped off the mall and are laying the new road straight on the dirt. That is, I didn't see any digging. I assume the area has very old sewer and electrical systems, and now would have been the very best time to replace those. Maybe lay some fiber cable as well? Seems short-sighted to ignore that. If the area "booms" as the project component claims, will the existing underground infrastructure support them?
Section 1: Tuolumne to Fresno
We start at Fulton and Tuolumne, which is the north end of the mall. For reference, all pictures taken lastThursday starting at around 4pm.
No work at the intersection yet, which is slated to get major pedestrian improvements.
The orphan street, which hasn't led anywhere in 40 years, is being used for staging.
And so we begin. A pedestrian promenade reduced to around 8 feet of walking space.
The walkway to CVS.
The former mall
Narrow walkway between construction and a parking lot.
This would make a good Halloween maze.
Maybe a maze with a maximum security prison theme.
One of the side streets, which were also all pedestrianized.
Ah! Suddenly the claustrophobia ebbs and fences make way for trees, a playground, and open pedestrian space. For now.
I guess it was nice of them to leave the playground a little longer. Remember, the city claimed that this project would not impact park space at all. (Fresno is 97th in park space, out of 100).
But not all is well.
Another oasis remains, for now.
Warning: Massive amount of pictures after the jump.