Grant to fund North Avenue improvements

The City of Grand Junction has received additional funding to pay for improvements along North Avenue.

The Colorado Department of Local Affairs awarded the city a $600,000 energy and mineral impact assistant grant for the project.

The city also received a $1.2 million grant through the Federal Transportation, Community and System Preservation Program. The program offers funding to carry out projects that integrate transportation, community and preservation plans.

Construction is scheduled to begin this fall on improvements to North Avenue from 12th to 23rd, including 8-foot wide detached sidewalks, median improvements, landscaping, lighting, and street furniture.

The city has developed long-range plans for the North Avenue corridor, creating districts along various portions of North Avenue to accommodate different uses. The plans also take into account aesthetics and safety in promoting the construction of buildings closer to the street with parking along the side or in the rear, signs on buildings, inviting streetscapes and wider sidewalks.

Even as the city developed plans for the North Avenue corridor, business and property owners also organized a group to renew efforts to revitalize what was once one of the most vibrant commercial districts in the city.

The group has set a number of goals, among them improving the appearance along North Avenue and enforcing more consistent regulations for signs and landscaping. The ultimate goal is to develop a distinctive commercial district that attracts businesses and their customers.

While North Avenue isn’t as prominent a business district as it once was, tax collections from retail sales there still accounted for 11 percent of overall collections for the city during the second quarter of this year.