Antelope Valley Project completed

By: Sabrina Ahmed

It's a job that's been going on for decades. Friday, the Antelope Valley Project is finally finished.

When the city first started looking at problems in Antelope Valley, there was a laundry list of things that needed to be fixed. An ongoing threat of flooding, the barriers the flooding created in terms of development, traffic congestion, railroad crossing and time delays for drivers, decline in business and housing in the area, and the list goes on.

“Finding a holistic solution to the situation required a very broad and very bold vision,” said Mayor Chris Beutler.

The planning took years and in 2000 the city created JAVA, which consisted of the city, University and NRD, to put those plans into action.

“Although looking at a 12 year project from 2000 side seems to be a very long road. I have to say that the JAVA partnership made this journey for all of us, UNL included, a much better place,” said Christine Jackson with UNL and JAVA.

It meat getting 1,000 buildings out of flood plane status. It also created an open waterway, six miles of highway, 12 new or replacement bridges, new trails and the Union Plaza.

The total cost was $71 million, half local dollars, half federal. The city says they hope this new area will be the center of business growth. From day one JAVA's had a vision for prosperity.

“A serious flood threat to a very large area in the heart of the city has been eliminated, meanwhile creating opportunities for economic development, public recreation, green space, open space,” said LPSNRD General Manager, Glenn Johnson.

A celebration of the Union Plaza is next Thursday. This is just phase one of the project. Officials say phase two will happen in due time, for now, the West Haymarket Project will be the city's main concern.