Harrisburg officials today broke ground on the long-awaited repaving of 3rd Street, though most of the work will wait until next spring to start.
City Engineer Wayne Martin said that crews will begin on the Midtown portion with new curbing and ADA-compliant ramps at each intersection. Work is expected to continue through December, depending on the weather, and will resume in March.
The entire project includes about a two-mile stretch of the main artery from Chestnut Street downtown to Seneca Street in Uptown Harrisburg.
Actual milling and paving of the street will hold off until next year, said Mayor Eric Papenfuse. The project is expected to continue throughout much of 2018, wrapping up in October.
Papenfuse stressed that the project is not just for motorists. He said the improvements will make it easier to walk and bike, as well as drive along the street.
“By the time we are done, this entire area will be returned to the residents of the city,” he said.
Martin said that, when paving begins next year, he expects temporary road closures and detours lasting about three days at a time. He also said that some parking, about 10 spaces at a time, will be occupied by construction equipment.
“There will be times when parking will be an issue on 3rd Street,” Martin said, requesting patience among motorists and residents until the project is done.
The street was last paved in 1999, he said, so, “it’s overdue.”
As part of the project, Capital Region Water will install trees and other environmentally friendly infrastructure, including green “bump outs,” to reduce storm-water flow, said CRW board chairman Marc Kurowski.
He said the project is part of CRW’s City Beautiful H2O program, which is meant to replace outdated infrastructure and improve storm-water flow.
“We’ll have new trees and new ways to manage storm-water,” Papenfuse said. “This will become a showcase for design for the whole region.”
Harrisburg has contracted with Elizabethtown-based Doug Lamb Construction Inc. for the $5.5 million project, a cost split between the city and CRW. The city is paying an estimated $3.5 million, with CRW footing the remaining $2 million.
Most of the project is funded by a grant from Impact Harrisburg, a nonprofit set up as part of the city’s financial recovery plan.