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July 23, 2014

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Joe Downtown: Smith Center pedestrian bridge adds another piece to downtown puzzle

Map of Smith Center for the Performing Arts

Smith Center for the Performing Arts

361 Symphony Park Ave Las Vegas, NV, Las Vegas

In the not-so-distant future, city sources say, most of the parking around the Smith Center for the Performing Arts is likely to be in the form of multistoried parking garages.

That is, if Symphony Park, the center’s home, attracts more development and grows with the rest of downtown Las Vegas. So far, the Smith Center is doing well on its own. In just the year since it opened, it has become one of the most popular destinations downtown.

And when First Friday, the popular monthly event downtown brings Symphony Park into the event, the center will become even more of a downtown hub.

For now, vehicles flow fairly easily into and out of the site. But if hoped-for development ever happens in the remainder of the development sites around the center, customers will need more than surface, $8 valet parking.

A step in that direction is the the Symphony Park pedestrian bridge, attaching the park grounds to the existing City Hall parking garage on Main Street. The bridge will be christened Wednesday morning by city leaders.

Funding for the $4.5 million bridge, which spans the Union Pacific railroad tracks, comes from three sources: $500,000 from the Federal Highway Administration; $3.6 million from the federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality fund; and $400,000 from the city’s general fund.

“This new bridge is just another step in integrating Symphony Park into the fabric of downtown,” Councilman Ricki Barlow said in a press release. “Being able to easily walk to all the great attractions and businesses in the 18B Arts District to Fremont East, the Fremont Street Experience and Symphony Park is crucial for the continued renaissance downtown.

Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover downtown, he lives and works there. Schoenmann is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded downtown journalist, working from an office in the Emergency Arts building.

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