Phase two of the Capitol Avenue project will begin this week with the closure of Capitol between 5th and 6th streets on Thursday, May 20th. This will allow for utility relocation and the reconstruction of the pavement. Also, 6th Street will be reduced to one lane of traffic to facilitate the reconstruction of the intersection at Capitol. This part of phase two involving the closure of 5th to 6th Streets will last approximately two months, but the timetable is extremely weather dependent. The portion of Capitol from 7th to 6th will be closed later in the construction season.
Motorists should follow the marked detour route or use alternate routes to avoid the closure. Pedestrians are asked to use caution in the area as some sidewalks could be closed.
The Capitol Avenue project’s first phase, from 11th to 7th Street was completed last year. It involved removing the street, rebuilding and moving utilities, and rebuilding the roadway with decorative brick. New sidewalks and landscaping are also being installed, in an effort to beautify the promenade leading to the state Capital.
The design was created to achieve a balance between Capitol Avenue’s roles as a traffic artery and a ceremonial corridor was critical to the project’s success. Capitol Avenue currently carries approximately 6,000 vehicles per day. The design also enhanced the visual experience of the Capitol Building.
The Capitol Avenue project was a recommendation made by the Regional/Urban Design Assistance Team back in 2002 as part of a larger design to make downtown more livable and inviting. It was described as “arguably the most important streetscape environment in the city of Springfield” by the R/UDAT team.