DDD breaks ground on Hanson Crossing Project
It’s been a long standing goal of the Hammond Downtown Development District to complete two projects: A Hammond Market Pavilion and an elegant pedestrian cross walk to go with it. After almost 5 years of planning, one project has begun construction.
Hanson Crossing, a pedestrian cross walk that will connect the east and west side of Downtown over the railroad tracks, is in the works. The exact location of the crossing is on Hanson St. by the Mezzanine, where a large metal barrier is currently located to stop cars from crossing the tracks.
The idea of the cross walk stems from its main project, the Hammond Market Pavilion. The DDD is hoping to acquire the land to place a community pavilion to house its Farmers Market on SW. Railroad Ave by the crossing.
To ensure people are safely crossing the tracks, it’s a smart decision to put a cross walk in this location. The city recently partnered with the DDD and Bruce O’Krepki of Square 71 to finish a new parking lot near the crossing, the BBQ and Blues event takes place near the crossing and eventually the new pavilion will be located here.
Communication with CN Railroad was crucial to approve the project. “We couldn’t be more excited. CN gave us the approvals we’ve been waiting for and the project is moving right along,” says DDD Director, Chelsea Tallo. “We waited to begin construction until after the BBQ and Blues event to avoid having a construction site in the middle of their setup.”
The DDD isn’t planning on just putting a rubber pad to cross over the railroad tracks. “We intend this pavilion and crosswalk to be an entrance to Downtown as you’re driving down Railroad Ave. The design committee and board of directors wanted an architectural design that matched the feel of Historic Hammond, but was also a staple piece for the district,” Tallo continued.
The crosswalk will have 2 brick pillars per side along with artwork to create 2 identical arches on both sides of the railroad tracks. Add in a large amount of greenery and a concrete and brick plaza on the west side of the crosswalk and this project is sure to be the talk of the town.
The project is expected to take 90 days for construction, and estimated for completion by July 8th. The DDD has allotted a budget of $163,000 for construction expenses which include: design cost by Adam Perkins of Dufreche-Perkins & Associates, construction by JAC Construction, Canadian National Railroad’s installation cost, and creation of artistic archways by John Perilloux, a local artist who specializes in metal design and sculptures.
Tallo says, “We’re thrilled about the construction of this crosswalk. More and more our Downtown is becoming a walkable ‘historically hip’ destination. This is a major milestone in improving the Downtown pedestrian experience. It’s also a good snapshot of what we hope Downtown will transform into in the upcoming future.”