Building on both the momentum created by ARTWalk's proven success and an existing need to reconstruct a portion of University Avenue from Union Street to Goodman Street, the City submitted a plan to replace aging streets and sidewalks to the federal government for consideration in the first round of stimulus funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Since the project had already progressed through much of the design phase, it was considered a "shovel ready" site and was the recipient of more than $3.84 million in federal support.
In addition to their input, many of the museums, galleries, and private businesses along the project's planned route are contributing resources to help what they see as a continuation of the revitalization of their section of the city. It is anticipated that for each dollar of federal funds spent on the design enhancement of the area, at least $4 of additional private investment will be leveraged in the project.
A steering committee of representatives from stakeholder organizations has been meeting since January 2009 to review plans for the design development phase, which was completed in Fall 2009. The bid documents are being finalized and construction on the Art Walk Extension will begin in Fall 2010. Public workshops were held throughout the design phase to solicit citizen input and participation.
Project stakeholders have been working hard to extend the example set by the rest of the art-rich neighborhood. In order to honor and continue the focus on art, public art will be a large component of this project.