Fulton Mall

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

Crews are currently hard at work cutting down many of the over 100 trees that line the Fulton Mall. They are being removed as part of the project to turn the mall back into a street. But some of the trees will find a new life.

Chainsaws reverberate down the concrete canyon of the Fulton Mall. Workers are cutting into the trunk of a 30 foot tall pine. They then push the smaller section of the tree to earth where it lands with a meaty thunk.

Jeffrey Hess/KVPR

It’s the end of an era in downtown Fresno.

After years of hard fought battles over the fate of the Fulton Mall, demolition is underway. Dozens turned out for an official ground breaking on a project to pull out the six-block pedestrian walking mall in downtown Fresno and turn it back into a street.

Music blared and Fresno Fuego fans banged drums to celebrate what many see as a new chapter in the history of downtown Fresno. The vision of supporters is to revive the downtown corridor by opening up the corridor to vehicle traffic.

Christopher Rocha - http://www.vintagefresno.com/ - used with permission

UPDATED 2/26:

A long-awaited development project near Chukchansi Park has earned the Fresno City Council’s unanimous approval.

The city authorized more than $1 million dollars in public money to enable developers to construct a mixed use commercial-residental building at the corner of Fulton and Inyo streets next to the park.

Council member Oliver Baines, whose district includes the project, urged support for the deal.

Fresno's Fulton Mall in downtown
Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Fewer bike racks and trash cans, the elimination of directional signage and fancy lighting are some of the things that city officials say have been cut from the project to tear up and rebuild downtown Fresno's Fulton Mall. 

Administration officials explained to the Fresno City Council Thursday what they had to eliminate in order to reduce the price of the project below a $20 million cap and avoid using general fund dollars

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The City of Fresno appears to have cleared a major legal hurdle in its effort to turn the Fulton Mall back into Fulton Street. FM89’s Joe Moore reports.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Kimberly Mueller ruled in favor of the city in a federal lawsuit brought by Fulton Mall supporters who want want stop the project. Muller also denied the Downtown Fresno Coalition’s request for an injunction on the project, which could clear the way for construction as soon as next month. 

Valley Public Radio

This week on Valley Edition Host Joe Moore speaks with The Guardian's Jon Swaine about the paper's series "The County" looking at police violence in Kern County. Also on the program KVPR's Diana Aguilera reports on the history of housing in Fresno County and how some people groups weren't allowed to buy in certain areas of Fresno. 

The Fulton Mall has been a source of controversy since before it was built decades ago. Last week, the Fresno City Council took what could be the final vote deciding its fate. But opponents says the fight is not over yet. In fact, there are still challenges facing the project.

At their most recent meeting, the Fresno City Council approved a $22,400,000 contract with American Paving to rip out the Fulton Mall and replace it with a street drawing cheers and applause from crowd of supporters.

The Fresno City Council has voted 6-1 to accept a construction bid to turn the Fulton Mall back into a street. The vote is a significant, and nearly final step, in the long fight over what to do with the pedestrian walking mall in the middle of downtown Fresno.

The city hall was packed for the vote with many people wearing orange ‘I believe in Downtown Fresno’ tee-shirts appearing to greatly outnumber opponents of the project. Most of the supporters called on the council to remove the mall, which they consider a moribund drag on downtown development.

Fresno leaders are moving forward on plans to award a construction contract for the reconstruction of the Fulton Mall even though is best bid is still more than 2-million dollars over budget.

City staff want the council to select a bid from American Paving for the project despite the fact the company overshot the projects's $20-million target.

Mayor Ashley Swearengin said they are taking the bid to the council anyway and will continue to work to reduce the cost.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

On this week's  show – why are whitewater rafters the latest group to feel the pain of California’s drought? We talk with Lois Henry of the Bakersfield Californian and find out what it means for Kern County’s tourism industry.

Pages