On November 5, 2010 it was official: Emily Maxwell was the newest Mayor of Maryborough.
Election night partying.
Maxwell has a major task ahead of her: how to revitalize the City. The first Green Party mayor of a major American city, she also faced major skepticism that she had the skill and practicality to get the job one.
To silence the critics and make good on her promises, Mayor Maxwell jumped into action on her first day on the job.
The project to daylight the Wapato Creek was chosen as the first major project. The plans called for demolishing a little-used freeway which ran above the creek. Where the freeway once stood, a canal holding the creek would be built. Within the canal would be a mall of mostly local shops displaced by the construction along the freeway's corridor. Finally, a new roadway, light rail line, and bike path would be built along the creek.
This project was chosen because it Incorporated all of Maxwell's major campaign promises: building livable commercial districts, improving transportation, and supporting environmental sustainability.
The demolishing of the freeway.
To avoid floods, the creek was piped through to its outlet while construction continued.
Construction continues and the mall canal begins to take shape.
While the canal was being build, Maxwell also undertook the massive modernization projects needed for the city's civic infrastructure. School buildings hadn't been replaced in years; old elementary schools were made into high schools while the younger students were pushed into smaller temporary buildings. Also, police stations were so outdated that they couldn't support adequate broadband networks and were seismically unsafe.
Schools would generally be rebuilt from the ground-up, while police stations would be a modern glass facade which would mask the retrofitting work.
A typical civic block, with a high school (top left) police station (top right), and "temporary" elementary school buildings (center).
An updated subway station where the high school was, with the retrofitted police station and a new elementary school. The redevelopment also includes pedestrian pathways.
In other, more blighted blocks, all buildings were torn down. This block now includes a new hospital, educational facilities, and parkland.
Until Next time!