DDD Completes Hanson Crossing Project
Hammond, LA– It’s been a long standing goal of the Hammond Downtown Development District to complete an elegant pedestrian crosswalk on Hanson Street. After almost 5 years of planning, Hanson Crossing and the art that goes along with it, has been installed just in time for the 15th annual Hammond BBQ Challenge.
Hanson Crossing, a pedestrian crosswalk that connects the east and west side of Downtown over the railroad tracks, is bringing even more flare to Downtown Hammond. The exact location of the crossing is on Hanson St. by the Mezzanine, where a large metal barrier was once located to stop cars from crossing the tracks.
The idea of the crosswalk stems from the Hammond BBQ Challenge. When it began 15 years ago, the safety of pedestrians crossing the tracks was discussed among the Hammond Downtown Development District. Shortly after, the DDD 2003 Master Plan Update was implemented to include Hanson Crossing.
As business grew in that area, the DDD established Hanson Crossing as a capital project and begin planning in 2011. Square 71, a new construction completed in recent years, created a sense of urgency for the DDD. The Hammond Kiwanis Club also recently began hosting their meetings at the Mezzanine once a week, creating even more traffic in the south parking lots.
The majority of the crosswalk has been completed for quite some time. The final piece of the project was the artistic archways created and installed by John Perilloux. Perilloux is a local metal artist who creates unique one of a kind, forged, architectural elements. The archways are his biggest project to date.
“We intended 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 (hence the red bricks and leaves in the art), but was also a staple piece for the district,” says DDD Executive Director, Chelsea Tallo.
Tallo says, “We’re thrilled about the construction of this crosswalk. More and more, our Downtown is becoming a walkable destination. This is a major milestone in improving the Downtown pedestrian experience and ensuring pedestrian safety.”
Originally, Hanson Crossing was partnered with the creation of a community pavilion to house the Hammond Farmers Market. With Hanson Crossing checked off the list, the DDD is full steam ahead to begin construction of another Master Plan idea. A Downtown pavilion that could be completed as early as late 2018.