Transforming Downtown Oklahoma City 180 Degrees
The initiative, named Project 180, is a $176 million redesign of downtown streets, sidewalks, parks and plazas to improve appearance and make the central core more pedestrian friendly. Plans call for the addition of landscaping, public art, marked bike lanes, decorative street lighting and additional on-street parking spaces.
The first phase of streetscape construction for Project 180 began along Reno in August 2010. Other portions of the phase one streetscape began in late 2010 and includes construction on East Main Street, North Walker, Sheridan, North Robinson, Dean A McGee, North Harvey and NW 5th Street.
Also included in the first phase of Project 180 was the dramatic transformation of the Myriad Botanical Gardens. Plans called for changes throughout the garden, including the addition of a grand performance lawn, a children's discovery garden and play area, water features, an ice skating rink, a restaurant, a dog release area and the addition of a new grand entrance to the Crystal Bridge Conservatory.
One of the biggest changes to the Myriad Botanical Gardens was the re-glazing of the 22 year-old Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory. After re-painting, the Conservatory's aging acrylic panels were replaced with new more durable clear panels. The Myriad Gardens and Crystal Bridge closed for construction beginning April 26, 2010 with portions reopening April 25, 2011 in time for the 2011 Festival of the Arts. The grand re-opening of the Myriad Botanical Gardens was October 15, 2011.
Phase two of the streetscape construction began July 2011 and includes Hudson, North Robinson, Sheridan, Colcord, Couch and Walker. This phase will include the renovation of Bicentennial Park, located in front of the Civic Center Music Hall.
The improvements are paid for through Tax Increment Financing (TIF) from construction of the Devon Tower ($125 million), General Obligation Bonds passed in the 2007 bond election ($40 million) and the Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust ($11 million).