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May 17, 2013

Streetscape projects coming downtown

Five projects to take place over next five years

LOGANSPORT — Work is set to begin on the first of five downtown streetscape projects that will replace street lights, dress up sidewalks with decorative blocks and make the city more compatible with regulations stipulated in the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Paul Hartman, superintendent of Logansport Municipal Utilities, spoke on the project at a Logansport Redevelopment Commission meeting Wednesday. He said the first phase will address the east side of Sixth Street between Broadway and North Street.

“That has been identified as probably the worst streets in the downtown area,” Hartman told the commissioners.

The project will entail underground electric work for new street lights and post lights, new sidewalks with decorative pavers, new curbs and ramps to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Becki Harris, director of Logan’s Landing, a downtown revitalization organization, said the project aims to create a more pedestrian-friendly environment for downtown.

“There are areas around downtown currently not up to code,” she said. While sidewalk ramps are required for wheelchair access, they will also make it easier for shopping carts, strollers and bicycles.

“It improves the safety and functionality as well as the aesthetics. Anything we can do to make downtown or any part of our community more pedestrian friendly is good for a number of reasons.”

Hartman requested $80,000 from the downtown Logan’s Landing tax increment financing fund for this first phase, which the redevelopment commission approved unanimously.

Bob Bishop, president of the commission, said the Logan’s Landing TIF fund currently has about $609,000 and brings in about $150,000 a year.

LMU will be conducting the electrical work while M R Louthain & Associates will be taking on the concrete, paver and ADA work for the sidewalks. Now that the funds have been appropriated, Hartman said he’ll be contacting M R Louthain & Associates on when work can begin.

The other areas in the project, to be done subsequently over the next five years, include the east side of Sixth Street from North to High streets, the east side of Sixth Street from High to Race streets along with the west side of Sixth Street in front of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, the west side of Sixth Street from North to High streets and the west side of Sixth Street from High to Race streets.

The plan estimates the first three phases will require around $80,000. Some $85,000 is estimated for the fourth and $55,000 for the fifth. Hartman said he will request appropriations on a yearly basis upon the completion of preceding projects.

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or mitchell.kirk@pharostribune.com.

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