Second stage is in full swing
The second stage of redesign from Bäumlein- to Streitgasse is already running at full speed, as it goes on. This also includes the Barfüßer-, Kaufhaus- and Streitgasse which lead into Freie Straße.
At the end of 2021, the Dreizackbrunnen at the confluence of the Münsterberg will also be relocated by around two meters towards the middle of the street.
In the spring of 2022, the striking tree is also to be replanted “in a prominent position” on Bäumleingasse higher up. The tree will be provided with a round bench and thus upgrade the confluence of the alley to the square. In May 2019, the government approved a loan of around 16 million francs for the redesign work.
The redesign work involves extensive pipeline renovations and the expansion of the district heating network of the Industrielle Werke Basel (IWB). Preparatory work is already underway here on the lower parts of Freie Strasse, between Pfluggässlein and Rüdengasse.
Archaeological soil research is also involved. In one of the deep pipe trenches in the lower sections, she discovered the remains of a Roman road that was used until the Middle Ages. Soil researchers found what they were looking for in the first construction phase. They were able to document the cellar and building walls of a hospital from the 13th century, among other things.
Once the work has been completed, it is not enough
According to Matthias F. Böhm, Managing Director of Pro Innerstadt Basel, the city on the knee of the Rhine will not only have an attractive pedestrian zone, but also a modern shopping street for retail, catering and service providers.
Böhm also sees the redesign as an outward sign of the change in the industry. The most important shopping street must be able to react to the new framework conditions triggered by the growing online trade. And: Against the background of the location competition, Böhm hopes to attract top international brands to Freie Strasse. “Space, value and purchasing power play a major role here.”
By the time the work is completed, however, not everything will be done. “The redesign is only one component, and many aspects also have to be repeatedly checked,” he said in an interview with our newspaper at the groundbreaking ceremony in August 2020.