After four months of construction, the La Grande Big “H” project has come to a close. For the past decade, the project has been in various planning stages, while in the summer of 2011 the City Council approved the design phase. The project, which was designed to improve the downtown shopping area, was developed and designed by AP and the City of La Grande. The project enhanced the streetscape in a portion of the downtown area.
The project limits were Elm and Depot Streets and Washington and Jefferson Streets. Improvements were made on Elm, Depot, Jefferson, and Adams Avenue. In addition, the connecting alleys within the project limits were also improved with the undergrounding of electrical conduits to serve the new ornamental light poles, concrete resurfacing, and new ADA compliant driveway approaches. In order to minimize disturbances to downtown businesses, the project was completed in stages.
Improvements included installing new sidewalks, new decorative stamped concrete behind the curb, new pedestrian ramps, new ornamental light poles, underground electrical conduit, and an underground irrigation network. In addition, street furniture such as benches, litter receptacles, and bicycle racks were also installed.
Construction funding, which utilized local Urban Renewal District taxes and a loan through the Local Oregon Capital Assets Program sponsored by the League of Oregon Cities and Association of Oregon Counties, was approved by the City Council in January 2012.