The Margaret T. Hance Park Revitalization Project is a public-private partnership led by the Hance Park Partner Coalition, consisting of the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department, Phoenix Community Alliance and Hance Park Conservancy. Funding for the project, estimated at $100 million, will come from public and private sources. A fundraising campaign is being led by the Phoenix Community Alliance and Hance Park Conservancy. The following is the Hance Park Newsletter for May 2020. See the April newsletter here and subscribe to the newsletter on phoenix.gov.
First Phase of Construction Continues
The first phase of construction for the Hance Park Revitalization Project is well underway. During this stage of the project, the “Fiesta Bowl Play at Hance Park” play area and surrounding infrastructure, escarpment and landscape will be built. Prior to construction of those features, repairs are being made to Interstate-10 tunnel joints located under the west side of the park. Much of the construction activity to date is related to the joint repairs.
Additionally, excavation and grading are underway, which will modify the park’s elevation for the play area, escarpment and landscape. In the coming weeks, geofoam, which provides a lightweight fill, will be installed. Temporary removal and salvage of trees continues. The work is being done by contractor Haydon Building Corp in coordination with the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT).
When the first phase is completed, park-goers will be able to walk along a 15-foot-wide pathway the length of the escarpment, which will climb gently from east to west. Ultimately, the escarpment will be connected via a pedestrian bridge in a future phase of the project. The bridge will also allow visitors to travel between two separate lawn areas on either side under the escarpment. In the interim condition, access to the west side of the escarpment will be by a set of temporary stairs, which will be removed once the pedestrian bridge and the remainder of the escarpment is constructed. Click on the diagram below for an expanded look at park connectivity.
Construction Impact on Park Users
Dating back to March, the walking paths on the north and south edge of the west side of the park are temporarily closed. This closure is expected to last until December 2020. Due to that restriction, those wishing to connect through the park from west to east will need to use the sidewalk along Culver St. on the park’s north edge, and then access the stairs or ramp near the Central Ave. bridge. Additionally, area lighting within the footprint of the project is affected, but lighting outside the construction zone is active.
The community is reminded that this is a complex project and construction timelines and park user access is subject to change, but the Hance Park Partner Coalition is committed to maintaining consistent communication. The easiest way to follow project updates is by visiting the Hance Park Revitalization Project website.
As a reminder, per Phoenix City Code, construction activity is permitted from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. from May 1 to September 30 and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from October 1 to April 30.
Read additional information about Phoenix City Code as it relates to after-hours construction noise.
Managing the Spread of COVID-19
Being outdoors is important for health and wellness, and the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department encourages residents to get outside, get exercise and practice responsible physical distancing while exploring all that the city’s parks have to offer. City parks are open, but as the department continues to work with the community to manage the spread of COVID-19/coronavirus, the following park amenities are temporarily closed: restrooms, playgrounds, basketball and volleyball courts, fitness equipment, ramadas, picnic tables and sports complexes. All large gatherings and events on city park property have been postponed as well. Guidelines about physical distancing when enjoying outdoor recreation can be found at Phoenix.gov/Parks.
Additionally, contractors/subcontractors working on the Hance Park Revitalization Project are following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and working in coordination with the Office of the City Engineer to maintain a worksite-specific safety plan related to COVID-19.
A Message from Banner Health: Staying Safe as COVID-19 Restrictions Ease
As stay-at-home restrictions begin to ease, people are starting to venture out of their homes, and some are even returning to work. But that doesn’t mean that the virus has gone away – or that there is a vaccine or a cure. So how can you stay safe and healthy while slowly returning to some semblance of normal life? First and foremost, stay the course. By this point we may feel like experts on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines set up to protect ourselves and prevent the spread of the coronavirus. However, these recommendations bear repeating.
Continue to Practice Social Distancing
According to the CDC, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. COVID-19 spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. Even a person without symptoms can spread the virus.
Wash Your Hands Often
Yes, you need to continue washing your hands often, especially after you’ve been in a public place or after you’ve blown your nose, coughed or sneezed. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
Cover Your Mouth and Nose When in Public
Everyone should wear a cloth face cover – whether it’s a mask, bandana or homemade face covering – when out in public and it is difficult to maintain social distancing measures, including trips to the grocery store or pharmacy.
Wearing Gloves When in Public
“While wearing gloves when out in public might make you feel safer, if they are not used perfectly, they could easily get you sick,” said Brandie Anderson, RN, MPH, CIC, infection prevention director at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson. “Think of touching germs on a surface as similar to touching red paint. If you’re wearing gloves and you touch red paint (the germs), then everything else you touch with those gloves will be contaminated with the red paint (germs), including your cell phone, car keys, eyes, nose or mouth.”
Maintain Healthy Habits to Boost Your Immune System
As we venture out, it is important to keep our immune system healthy to help reduce the risk of illness. Keep up that exercise routine, get plenty of sleep, make sure to drink enough water and eat a healthy diet.
Stay at Home as Much as Possible
We’re all anxious to resume our normal lives and get back out into the world. But while there is still no cure or vaccine for COVID-19, the safest thing you can do is keep your distance from others by staying at home.
Protections Work Together
“Each of these recommendations alone is only partially effective,” said Anderson. “If we practice social distancing but do not wash our hands often, we still risk getting sick by picking up germs from the surfaces we touch and putting them into our bodies by touching our nose, eyes or mouth.” By practicing all these recommendations, they work together to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to ourselves and each other.
Read more from Banner Health about COVID-19 safety recommendations.
Banner Health is a member of the Phoenix Community Alliance (PCA).
Dog Park Closure
Due to annual maintenance, the Hance Park Dog Park will be closed from May 18 to July 12. Dog park users are encouraged to visit the dog park in Steele Indian School Park, 300 E. Indian School Rd., or the Thelda Williams Paw-Pup Park in downtown, 200 W. Jefferson St., during the closure. Paw-Pup Park is managed through a partnership between the City of Phoenix and the Downtown Phoenix Partnership.
Dog parks are one of the city’s most popular recreational amenities, and the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department provides 12 of these fenced-in, double-gated, off-leash activity areas citywide. Find a dog park near you.
Phoenix Community Alliance
Margaret T. Hance Park’s revitalization is the perfect complement to the visible progress throughout Downtown. The vision of the Park as a vibrant community gathering place marking the northern boundary of the Downtown area is central to the story. But the sheer numbers of new residents and economic impact of the Park and surrounding Downtown development also are crucial to understanding the Park’s key role.
The 2017 Hance Park Economic Impact Analysis recognized the Hance Park Revitalization Project would provide more than $6.6 billion in direct new spending over a 30-year period. Separately, a 2018 Economic Study of the Downtown Redevelopment Area (RDA) pegged Downtown’s total economic impact at $19.1 billion annually. A few years later, these numbers are likely an understatement.
Here are a few other statistics outlining the growth in the Downtown RDA surrounding Hance Park:
- The number of residents living Downtown is expected to grow from an estimated 12,000 in 2010 to more than 22,000 in 2022.
- More than 6,000 housing units are either under construction or in the pre-development stage, to house all those new neighbors.
- Crane counting is a new past-time Downtown, with 11 of them soaring over 10 projects.
The Hance Park Partner Coalition thanks the Fiesta Bowl for the first major donation toward the Hance Park Revitalization Project. The $2 million Fiesta Bowl legacy gift will be used specifically for the newly developed “Fiesta Bowl Play at Hance Park,” which will be constructed on the west side of the park and opened in conjunction with the Fiesta Bowl’s 50th Anniversary season. As part of the Fiesta Bowl’s 50th Anniversary celebration, its community efforts will live on through this multigenerational playground for millions of Arizona residents and guests to enjoy.
Thanks also to other organizations supporting PCA’s fundraising efforts: True North Studio, Arizona Community Foundation, DeFalco Family Foundation, Okland Construction, Dig Studio, CCBG Architects, Valley Metro, Clearway Energy and Alliance Bank of Arizona.
Hance Park Conservancy
For information about the Hance Park Conservancy, visit our website.
This monthly newsletter, first published in December 2019, is produced by the Hance Park Partner Coalition. The Coalition encourages everyone to share this newsletter with family, friends and the organizations in which they are involved to help spread information and awareness about the project. Those who wish to receive it by e-mail can subscribe by visiting the Hance Park Revitalization Project website, which is also the best place to follow the latest updates about the project and park. The newsletter can also be viewed and downloaded via that website. Questions and comments about the project can be directed to Hance.Park@Phoenix.gov.