By Joe Wiercinski
Herald Staff Writer
There’s no doubt now that Sharon has the money to finish a streetscape project that is increasingly evident downtown as the pace of work has picked up this spring.
A state grant announced this week provides $292,500 needed to pay for sprucing up the appearance of State Street from Sharpsville Avenue to Irvine Avenue.
The additional money covers all unfunded costs of new curbing, sidewalks and lighting in the primary business district, said City Manager Scott Andrejchak.
Contractor S.E.T. Inc., Lowellville, Ohio, has finished all the necessary tree trimming and removal of damaged trees, he said.
“We are going to replace them with new trees or planter boxes,” Andrejchak said.
Replacement of high-pressure sodium fixtures that cast yellow light with new LED luminaries will brighten downtown streets and lower costs of using them.
White illumination from the 80-watt light-emitting diodes is more attractive, Andrejchak said, adding that LEDs use far less electricity than older lights and they are expected to last about a decade.
That’s far longer than the sodium lights many of which were burned out.
“All of the older lights are down. Some of those poles are going to be refurbished and reused and others are going to be scrapped,” Andrejchak said.
One location for the cleaned, repaired, repainted poles with new lights will be Bicentennial Park which the city has begun to renovate.
The $1.28 million project is also funded with an $805,000 PennDOT grant and $190,000 in local funding.
Improvements include a number of elements related to handicap accessibility and part of the delay that raised costs was caused by changes in the Americans with Disabilities Act regulations.
Difficulty getting easements signed with property owners along the route and changes in PennDOT requirements also stalled the project, officials have said.
Gov. Tom Corbett announced the approval of a Keystone Communities Public Improvement grant to make up the difference between estimates in 2010 and current actual costs.
He was joined in the grant announcement by state Rep. Mark Longietti and Sen. Bob Robbins.
Andrejchak expects all the work to be finished in midsummer.
“The date we are working on is the end of July,” he said. “Everything is going well and I have been happy with S.E.T.’s performance.”