The City of Erie showed off plans Wednesday night to improve the look of State Street with a streetscaping project.
The project covers from 2nd to 12th Streets, and will be split into four phases.
An effort to add new life into State Street begins now.
A proposed four phase plan hopes to upgrade light fixtures, concrete curbs, soil cells for better tree health, and expand green space as a whole along State Street.
“We obviously identify that State Street, it defines Erie. It’s a primary street,” said A.J. Antolik, assistant director of public works for the City of Erie.
Antolik said this stems from the Downtown Masterplan, which the city developed in 2010.
Project planners said the need for improvement has been evident, saying that tripping hazards persist due to tree root overgrowth, concrete dilapidation, and a lack of lights all need an upgrade to make State Street more inviting to the community.
“There’s always minor improvements going on, but this is going to be one of the larger types of streetscapes that is going to occur on the road in quite some time,” Antolik said.
Future phases may include new sidewalks, curb ramps compliant with ADA regulations, and lead walks which give accessibility from roadways to side walks through new green areas.
A representative of the Erie Downtown Partnership was in attendance Wednesday night learning about some of the changes being made as most of their events are in the heart of the city.
“I think we’re very pleased that phase one is going to tackle an area of downtown that needs a lot of care and attention, which is south of south park row. These renovations are a long time coming and we’re glad to see the plan moving forward,” said Dave Tamulonis, the events & marketing manager for the Erie Downtown Partnership.
Tamulonis said that steps like this will help Erie to keep other with other major cities.
“Great pedestrian infrastructure supports economic development in a ton of ways,” Tamulonis explained. “This is just one more thing that will help downtown get to that caliber of pedestrian safety and really amp Erie up to being a major city.”
The city officials said they’re going out for bids in April and hope that renovations will be completed by early 2024 at least for the first phase.