Construction crews started this week laying several hundred feet of asphalt on Fulton Street north of Inyo Street, marking a modest milestone in the conversion of the former pedestrian-only Fulton Mall in downtown Fresno back into a street for automobile traffic.
The $20 million project to restore Fulton Street between Inyo and Tuolumne streets began in March and is expected to take 14 months. In the meantime, merchants in the area are contending with chain-link fences and signs directing pedestrians along claustrophobic sidewalks to their shops while the work continues.
Public Works Director Scott Mozier said the repaving, which began Monday, includes a segment of Inyo Street, which has been closed at Fulton while the work is going on. Mozier said Inyo will be reopened at Fulton by the end of this week. American Paving concluded its major asphalt work on the intersection Tuesday morning, Mozier said, and isn’t expected to put any more asphalt down on Fulton Street for about a month.
Fulton Street was converted to a pedestrian mall 52 years ago. Restoration of the street for vehicular traffic has been a focus of downtown redevelopment efforts strongly backed by Mayor Ashley Swearengin.