Shovels in hand, West Palm Beach City leaders and construction crews to discuss project goals, timeline
(West Palm Beach, FLA.) May 2, 2019 –
West Palm Beach City leaders and construction crews are slated to break ground on Phase II of the Clematis Streetscape project on Monday, May 13, 2019. The multiphase project began in 2018 with improvements to the 300 block of Clematis Street and Phase II will include similar adjustments to public spaces on the 100 and 200 blocks of the iconic street. Construction is scheduled to run from mid-May – December, finishing just in time for the holidays. Improvements include wider sidewalks with more shade trees, narrowed traffic lanes and a curbless street design, to allow for an easier and more enjoyable pedestrian experience along the award-winning corridor. During the groundbreaking and press conference, Mayor Keith A. James, project coordinators and construction crews are expected to update the public on Phase II goals and timeline for next steps and completion.
“We’re excited to break ground on Phase II of the Clematis Streetscape project,” said Mayor Keith A. James. “When complete, this project—with wider sidewalks, more shade trees, and more room for bicyclists-- will make one of our City’s most visited and most popular streets even more attractive to visitors and economic development, which is in line with my vision of creating a community of opportunity for all in our city. This project is a first step toward ushering in a renaissance, of sorts, along Clematis Street, which means only great things for our downtown.”
While improvements to the 200 block will begin immediately, some parts of the 100 block will remain open until as late as August. Please note that the:
- South side of 100 block will remain open to vehicle traffic until early August;
- South side of 100 block is scheduled to be completed in early December;
- North side of 100 block will remain open to vehicle traffic until late June;
- North side of 100 block is scheduled to be completed by late October;
- 200 block is scheduled to be completed by October 31 or sooner.
Earlier this year, more than 80 percent of respondents at the public Clematis Streetscape Phase II: Planning at the Market event thought the design of the 300 block achieved its goal of improving the public realm of Clematis Street either “extremely well” or “very well.” Project designers, Dover, Kohl & Partners, incorporated public feedback about what people would like to see on the 100 and 200 blocks from that event, as well as a City Hall meeting, before presenting final designs to the City Commission. The Commission approved the Phase II plan at the Face of the City meeting on Monday, February 25, 2019.
As part of Phase II goals, the City aims to ease construction disruption for valued merchants and businesses on the 100 and 200 blocks. Project management improvements include evening valet service for merchants on the affected blocks and improved signage to help with wayfinding for the public and to promote the businesses on the 100 and 200 blocks. Additionally, the City’s events department plans to keep locals and tourists entertained through a variety of activations, including many same-day pop-up experiences and surprises. The events fall under the City’s fifth annual Summer in Paradise campaign, which this year is construction themed. According to City leaders, the City of West Palm Beach is occasionally iCONE-ic when dotted with construction or traffic cones but always iconic especially along its award-winning Clematis Street corridor. While the iconic orange traffic cone will signal road work ahead, it will also be a key image in the City’s branding and Summer in Paradise activations. Each activation plays on the word “cone”, and activities include: Cone-y Island, a summer-long maze created out of construction materials; Cone Checkers with cones as the checker pieces; Kid’s Cone Zone, a opportunity for kids to touch and explore City of West Palm Beach trucks and construction vehicles; SnowCONE Saturdays, a free weekly giveaway for anyone visiting downtown, and much more. Summer in Paradise runs from Thursday, June 6 – Thursday, August 1.
“With the launch of Phase II of Clematis Streetscape, we are taking our learnings from Phase I to make noticeable improvements to ease the construction phase,” said Allison Justice, Deputy Director, West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency. “We want to ensure merchants have the best experience during the ‘pardon our dust’ period, so in addition to logistical improvements, such as improved wayfinding, we are also launching a branding and advertising campaign to promote the 100 and 200 blocks this summer. With the help of the events team, and the awareness campaign, we are sure to see a busy and fun summer downtown.”
The Clematis Streetscape project is one of several joint projects between the City of West Palm Beach and the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency. The project was designed with quality of life at the forefront and to ensure that the City’s downtown core evolves with the needs of residents, merchants, and visitors.
For more information on the Clematis Streetscape project, please visit wpb.org/clematis, call 561-822-2222, or plan to attend the public meetings. To stay up-to-date on all City news, please follow the City on Twitter @westpalmbch or on Facebook @CityofWPB.