National League of Cities celebrates Infrastructure Week May 16 -23

May 16, 2016 9:30 AM


Madison celebrates with State Street/Library Mall receiving prestigious Project of the Year Award

State Street Library Mall

State Street holds a special place in our community as a destination for cultural, retail and dining experiences.  Much consideration has been given over the last decade into how the space is programmed to make it welcoming to all.

The City has directed the transformation of this vibrant hub of Madison life a couple of blocks at a time, to meet the evolving needs of its users with a timeless, flexible and durable design.  The 700 and 800 blocks of State Street and Library Mall marked the final segment of construction and is the recipient of the American Public Works Association's (APWA) Project of the Year Award.

This award is the recognition of collaborative efforts of public and private stakeholders who poured their energy into developing a design that balances space for large and small groups, improved seating opportunities, and a wider throughway to accommodate emergency vehicles, food carts and the high flow of pedestrian and bicyclists.  The design centers on the confluence of East Campus Mall, State Street and Library Mall.  In this space, we are able to appreciate adjacent landmarks such as the Capitol, Bascom Hill and Lake Mendota. 

Special amenities with sustainable elements include a drinking fountain outfitted with a water bottle filler, LED lighting that provides more light with less energy than the previous lighting system and sidewalk tree vaults to promote growing conditions for all of the new trees.  Other site improvements include an expanded electrical system to serve the popular food carts, providing a reliable power source in an effort to reduce the use of gasoline powered generators.

People passing through the 700 and 800 blocks of State Street may not realize the careful planning or community involvement that went into developing the space or consider the fine touches. But, they will feel the heartbeat of Madison and appreciate this special place.  That is the hallmark of a winning infrastructure project.   

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