The City of Fresno announced today that it will open the northern and southern “superblocks” of Fulton Street to traffic in late August with the grand re-opening and celebration of the entire Fulton Street Reconstruction Project set for Saturday, October 21, 2017. The northern super block is the section of Fulton Street that runs between Tuolumne and Fresno Streets, while the southern super block is the section of Fulton Street between Tulare and Inyo Streets.
Crews are currently working on the central superblock which is Fulton Street between Fresno Street and Tulare Street.
The reopening of Fulton Street to traffic represents a significant milestone in the revitalization of downtown Fresno. The reconstructed Fulton Street will have two-way traffic, on-street parking and wide pedestrian-friendly sidewalks. The project also includes the restoration and reinstallation of all of the existing Fulton art pieces and 16 of the 21 original water features.
“It’s thrilling to finally see the light at the end of the project,” said Fresno City Manager Wilma Quan-Schecter. “As someone who has lived and breathed this adventure from the very beginning, I can promise you that witnessing Fulton Street finally come to life will be a special event that will mark the rebirth of our downtown and the rejuvenation of our great city.”
The original Fulton Street was converted into a six-block pedestrian mall in 1964 but the Fulton Mall began to decline in the late ‘80s as Fresno grew to the north. Like many pedestrian malls around the country, the Fulton Mall has long since been plagued by high vacancy rates, declining foot traffic and vagrancy.
Cities that have removed their pedestrian malls have seen an increase in activity on those previously closed streets due to the increased foot and vehicular traffic. Fresno has already seen a renewed interest from potential merchants on Fulton Street with over $100 million in private investment added since the announcement was made to reopen the street to traffic