Ceremony heralds F Street wall removal - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Ceremony heralds F Street wall removal

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A wall that divides F Street from downtown Las Vegas was built when Interstate 15 was constructed. (File/FOX5) A wall that divides F Street from downtown Las Vegas was built when Interstate 15 was constructed. (File/FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

A wall that separates two Las Vegas neighborhoods will soon be demolished.

The F Street Connection Project will allow traffic to once again flow between downtown and a residential community located north of Interstate 95.

City leaders, including Mayor Carolyn Goodman, held a ceremony on Tuesday in which pieces of the wall were smashed with a hammer. The gesture was symbolic of what many are calling a milestone and rebirth of the community.

It was a day Gwen Walker, founder of the Walker African-American Museum, has been awaiting for a long time.

"It's coming down, the barrier to our community," she said.

"There is such a rich culture in our community, all the way around, and it's exciting to make sure that it goes both ways under this wonderful little opening we are creating," Goodman said.

F Street was sealed off near Washington Boulevard in 2008 after the city requested the road be closed for safety concerns associated with an Interstate 15 construction project. The move upset many in the neighborhood.

"We don't want to feel isolated from visitors, businesses or whatever because we are not going to get a lot of business coming into our community if everything is blocked off," resident Juanita Walker said.

During the ceremony, Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) and city officials announced a $13.6 million project which will grant both drivers and pedestrians direct access between the neighborhoods.

That announcement was music to Gwen Walker's ears.

"Not having the traffic, having water damage, having burglary and all those sorts of things - with this opening into our community, people will have easier access," she said.

The actual demolition is set to begin later this week with completion expected by fall 2014.

Las Vegas will cover $8 million in costs with the rest being covered by NDOT.

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