Streetscape plan now under way

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 29, 2004

When it comes to downtown revitalization, Ironton Mayor John Elam believes the city must crawl before it tries to walk.

Those walking steps will be a little smoother once the latest phase of the downtown streetscape improvement project is completed later this fall in a project that includes new sidewalks, curbs, tree boxes and decorative lighting.

"It will help beautify the downtown and follow our long-range strategic plan for the revitalization and renovation of Ironton," Elam said. "The project is something that enhances the downtown and will provide safe walkways for our residents."

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Much of the improvements will pick up where the previous renovations left off approximately two years ago.

Areas that will be renovated include Second Street from Washington to Adams streets on the riverside, and Second from Vernon Street to Auto Zone on the hillside, Vernon Street from Second to Third streets, Adams from Campbell Avenue to Three-and-a-Half Alley and Third Street from Adams to Washington streets, said Paul Sheets, an engineering tech with the city.

"We are continuing the streetscape that we have downtown with the brick borders in the sidewalk, ornamental street lighting, tree boxes, new sidewalks and new handicapped ramps," Sheets said. "It has been a continuous downtown enhancement that has been ongoing over the course of the past six or so years."

Construction crews began work Sept. 30 and are expected to be completed by the end of November.

General contractor Diaz Enterprises of Piketon was awarded a base contract for

$325,286.62. West End Electric Co., Inc. was awarded a contract for $132,102.77 for the electrical work.

The city has $429,000 in grant funding from the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Huntington-Ironton Empowerment Zone that was set aside for the project last year.

The city made a $28,482 deduction for trees because the mayor had arranged a different way to pay for those, bringing the contracts to $428,907.39.

Mayor Elam said the city has been approved a grant through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources that could provide up to $10,000 in trees to spruce up the city. An arborist with the state will visit next week to help determine the best trees for the city.