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State breaks ground on centennial project

Phoenix City Councilman Michael Johnson, Gov. Jan Brewer

(From left to right) Director of Phoenix Street Transportation Wylie Bearup, former Arizona Supreme Court Justice Charles Jones, Phoenix City Councilman Michael Johnson, Gov. Jan Brewer, Secretary of State ken Bennet, Phoenix City Councilman Bryan Jeffries, Director of the Arizona Centennial Commission Karen Churchard. (Photo by Ryan Cook/RJ Cook Photography)

The state officially broke ground on a project to transform Washington Street into “Centennial Way” just in time for Arizona to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its entry into the union.

Gov. Jan Brewer, Secretary of State Ken Bennett, Phoenix City Councilmen Michael Johnson and Bryan Jeffries, and others were on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday at the Carnegie Library. The $7.1 million facelift will include repaving, landscaping, shading and other improvements along the 1.5-mile stretch of Washington Street, from Central and 19th avenues.

Centennial Way will include displays for each of Arizona’s 15 counties, a “tribal walk” featuring each of the state’s 22 Native American tribes and a canopied shade area with a display featuring information about Arizona’s history and environment.

“Centennial Way is more than just a street enhancement project. This is a legacy that Arizonans will be proud of. When completed, Centennial Way will serve as a destination point where people can visit and learn about the great state of Arizona,” said Brewer, who is co-chairing the Arizona Centennial Commission. “Centennial Way will be a noteworthy thoroughfare leading to our state Capitol from downtown Phoenix. It will incorporate elements of our state’s rich culture and vibrant diversity.”

The bulk of the project is scheduled for completion in December, with the final landscaping elements expected to be finished by Feb. 14, the state’s centennial anniversary.

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