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Cost increases seen for East Third Street Gateway as work continues

East Third Street Old City Gateway Revitalization Project is costing more than anticipated, according to estimates received this week by City Council’s finance committee.

The $25 million revitalization of the areas east of Market Street in and around Lycoming College is expected to attract additional business and add to quality of life but the work price has increased more than projected.

“There have been change-orders, but they are staying within 5 percent,” said Teresa Sparacino, an economic development consultant with Delta Development Group.

Any of the change-orders for the state Department of Transportation, which is $1.79 million in grant funding, will be covered by the state, Sparacino said.

If that is exceeded, she added, the city can return to PennDOT and request additional funds.

Construction began last year, with Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc., general contractor, and Reynolds Construction Management Inc. as on-site manager.

The laborers took a year, breaking in between the Little League World Series, to realign Franklin Street, transition Basin Street into a two-way corridor between the college and Third Street, and add lights, sidewalks and pavers at crosswalks.

Streetscape work on East Fourth Street east and west of the Basin Street intersection is also planned. The amount of the grant for that work is $50,640 and will require a 30 percent match, Sparacino said.

“The city had $500,000 in bond funding allocated for streetscape,” Miele said.

Sparacino said $175,000 has been used on that.

Currently, work has begun on East Third Street between Market and Basin streets. The work includes paving, addition of curbs, sidewalks and lights and some tree plantings, said David Witmer, Reynold’s on-site construction manager.

The funding was secured through applications submitted by the prior administration. Attempts to reach Mayor Derek Slaughter on the cost overages and add perspective based on the size and scope of the improvements were not immediately successful.

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