Madison (WKOW) -- from City of Madison: Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, and other local leaders gathered in downtown Madison Monday to celebrate completion of the State Street reconstruction project with a formal re-opening of Madison's most famous thoroughfare.
The ribbon cutting today not only marked the completion of construction for State Street, but also marked major milestones in the State Street Strategic Plan, a city plan that was adopted in 1999 as the result of extensive public/private collaboration.
One of its primary recommendations was a detailed physical development plan for State Street and reconstruction of the 100 - 600 blocks.
"This is certainly not a plan that just sat on the shelf," Mayor Cieslewicz said. "I'm glad to say that we've made a key recommendation a reality today. State Street is the heart of downtown Madison. The investments we've made will help State Street continue to remain a unique destination for decades to come. In this period of tight budgets, I am very grateful to the leadership of Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin in helping Madison get its fair share of federal resources to make this project a reality."
"Just as the Campus-Capitol connection forms the heart of downtown Madison, State Street is its main artery. It's been personally gratifying to bring the federal government into partnership with the city to restore a vital part of Madison's economic and cultural center," said Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin.
"The strategic plan not only recommended streetscape improvements for State Street, but also the formation of a Business Improvement District (accomplished in 1999) and development of a Business retention, Expansion and Recruitment program-all of which have been accomplished," Susan Schmitz, President of Downtown Madison Inc. said. "The undertaking took a commitment of hundreds of hours from volunteers to raise funds for the plan and to reach out to the community for input-it was not just a downtown project-it was a community project!"
"This investment in downtown through the State Street reconstruction and Business Improvement District has really paid off," Mary Carbine, Executive Director of Madison's Central Business Improvement District said. "We are fortunate to have a thriving downtown district with more than 350 shops, restaurants, entertainment and service businesses, many locally owned, which has economic benefits for the city and the region."
The re-opening today marks the completion of a 4 year, $17 million project to rebuild the entire length of State Street.
The project is funded with a combination of City and federal funds, including $4.75 million federal funds and an additional $1 million anticipated thanks to the leadership of Congresswoman Baldwin.
The first phases of the project - the 100 and 200 blocks - were completed in 2004 and 2005. The 500 and 600 blocks were completed in 2006.