Representative Smith Announces $1 million in Funding for Mulberry Street Improvement Project

03/25/10

     Pennsylvania House Representative Ken Smith announced $1 million in funding support for the multi-million dollar Mulberry Street Improvement Project spearheaded by the City of Scranton, Scranton City Council and The University of Scranton. Funding comes through the Commonwealth’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program and requires matching support from The University of Scranton.

     “I believe this grant will go a long way to improve foot traffic for the local businesses along Mulberry Street,” said Rep. Smith. “In addition, the project will add to the property values of people living in the Hill section. With the addition of wider walkways and period lighting, it will provide for a safer area for all pedestrians.”

     “The University of Scranton is grateful for the support of Representative Smith and the Governor for a project that will improve the safety and aesthetics of this important gateway to the City and our campus,” said Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., President of The University of Scranton. “The University remains committed to ensuring that the improvements made to this corridor are of the quality and caliber that will fill future generations with pride as they travel this pathway in the years to come.” 

     At the news conference, The University of Scranton unveiled sketches prepared by Burkavage Design Associates of Clarks Summit and Ayers Saint Gross, a nationally-respected architectural firm from Baltimore, Md., with experience in urban campus design. The University of Scranton worked with these firms to develop a comprehensive plan that provides a consistent appearance and seamless connection of the campus to the surrounding neighborhood. The project encompasses Mulberry Street from Jefferson Avenue to North Webster Avenue.

     The plans are more elaborate and comprehensive than the initial project announced in 2007. The newly redesigned project will encourage foot traffic and improve pedestrian safety by creating wider walking paths that incorporate bluestone sidewalks, scored concrete crosswalks, cobblestone lined tree lawns, benches and vintage light fixtures. It also includes landscaping to screen parking lots and intermittent, low, limestone seating walls.

     The Mulberry Street Improvement Project will be completed in phases over the coming years.

     The first phase of the project, which concentrates on Mulberry Street between Jefferson and Madison avenues, is already under way. This phase includes the large limestone, wrought iron and cast stone sign on the northeast corner of Jefferson Avenue and Mulberry Street that welcomes passers by to The University of Scranton campus and the historic Hill Section of Scranton. It also includes the enlarged pedestrian crosswalk area immediately in front of the sign, which was the location of the news conference.

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