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Grant of $1.2 million goes to Old City redevelopment

River Valley Transit is the recipient of a state grant of nearly $1.2 million that will be used as part of the Old City revitalization near Lycoming College.

The state Department of Transportation grant will be used toward costs to realign Franklin Street and reconstruct Basin Street into a two-lane boulevard between East Third and East Fourth streets, said William E. Nichols Jr., city finance director and River Valley Transit general manager.

The design of the intersection will not only help the college and the community but all visitors into and out of the city, Nichols said.

It creates a smoother connection to east end and the Central Business District, he said.

The money from the grant also will go toward the addition of bike lanes, transit stops, handicapped accessible ramps, sidewalks, lighting and stormwater management systems, he said.

The $1.2 million grant is part of 42 PennDOT grants that Gov. Tom Wolf said will be used in highway, bridge, transit, ports and waterways, and bike and pedestrian projects.

“With these resources, we can improve transportation connections down to the local level and make a big difference for communities,” Wolf said.

PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards’ said emphasis was put on a backlog of needed bridge repairs, and 14 of the 42 grants were awarded for local bridges.

Mayor Gabriel J. Campana said the $25 million combined East Third Street/Old City Gateway Revitalization project is not drawing on general funds in the city but rather state grant funding the agency deems appropriate.

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