Closing of Avenue Pompidou Marks Beginning of Major Works
The construction work at Part Dieu, started at the end of December, will grow this week with the closing of Avenue Pompidou on Thursday.
Avenue Pompidou will be closed between Rue de la Villette and Boulevard Vivier-Merle for the next four years, until the work is completed in 2022.
The Impact of the Work
The disruption is part of a larger plan to reconstruct Lyon’s main train station, Part Dieu, and refresh the surrounding community.
“The goal is to bring this commercial neighborhood up to European standards,” said Président de la Métropole David Kimelfeld, at a press conference last Monday.
Part Dieu sees an average of 120,000 visitors per day, compared to the 35,000 predicted when it opened in 1983.
The 50-item construction plan includes adding a new rail and another bus station at the Place de Francfort to ease traffic to the Part Dieu hub. The Place de Francfort station will open at the end of the summer.
The Brotteaux-Servient tunnel, closed since January 15, will remain closed until the end of April. Meanwhile, the Vivier-Merle tunnel will be closed to cars only for two years, until 2020, starting at the end of May.
However, both the Part Dieu station and the shopping center are to remain operational throughout the work.
Public transport will still be running to all the normal stops in and around Part Dieu, and pedestrians and bikers will be rerouted around the worst of the work.
“It’s a reconstruction of the city from within the city, without disrupting essential activities,” said Lyon mayor Georges Képénékian.
Reviving a Major City Hub
The idea for the project comes from a desire to refurbish a community that currently serves mostly as a passing zone for travelers. The Part Dieu neighborhood is a large business and transportation sector, but it’s also in the center of town. The new construction will allow the city to take advantage of that.
“We want to create a neighborhood to live in,” said Kimelfeld. “That is to say, not just a place people pass through to take a train or pick up a rental car, not just a place where people come to work, but a place that will be a nice neighborhood to live in.”
Alongside the extension of the train station, the project also focuses on creating more welcoming, public spaces in the quarter. The Part Dieu SPL (Société Publique Locale), who is overseeing the project, plans to incorporate small parks and plant more trees along the streets.
More housing will also be built, with more space for commercial businesses.
“I think all of this is very well-thought out,” said Képénékian,“with, as the president said, this ambition to truly create a major pole, a hub, in the heart of our city.”
The aim is to maintain Part Dieu’s commercial and business opportunities while imbuing it with the cultural attraction of the rest of the city. As Lyon continues to grow, it is important that Part Dieu is up to international standards.
“Today, Part Dieu is an object of interest,” said Kimelfeld, “because of our ambition to rebuild it as an exemplary model, the new standard of Europe”.
*quotes have been translated from French