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Resurfacing of Third Street to begin in summer

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Potholes and cracked pavement are shown on West Third Street between Walnut and Campbell Streets.

About one mile of Third Street west of Mulberry Street to Seventh Avenue is scheduled for resurfacing and addition of curb cuts at intersections this summer.

“We are planning to resurface — not reconstruct — the street,” said Chris King, a state Department of Transportation District 3 spokesman during Monday’s Williamsport Area Transportation Study technical committee meeting.

PennDOT has wanted to reconstruct the street but financial challenges occurred during COVID-19, said Scott Williams, Lycoming County transportation planner.

“It’s not a total reconstruction but it will help,” he said.

He noted the department has to reprioritize its projects after losing revenue due to the virus. Long-deferred interstate maintenance takes a priority over some municipal projects, he said.

The resurfacing job is expected to help make the street smoother but is not a permanent fix.

“That could come in seven to eight years with reconstruction,” said Jon Sander, city engineer.

“Repaving will at least take care of pot holes and rough bits,” Williams said.

But, he said, it won’t take care of the deep ruts which drivers experience between Hepburn and Market streets.

That is the result of buried trolley car ties when the city street cars ran up until the 1930s, Williams said.

“The resurfacing won’t remove those buried ties,” he said.

As for accessibility upgrades, there will be many.

The project calls for 70 curb cuts and ramps installed to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

It costs about $6,000 for a curb cut and ramp access, Sander said. The project calls for $426,000 in costs related to accessibility, he said.

The cost of the resurfacing has not been released with bids to be let in April.

“We’re are getting there,” Sander said of the improvements on the heavily-traveled street.

For example, in October, as part of the East Third Street/Old City Revitalization project, the street was reopened after a year of construction.

Today, this section between Basin and Mulberry streets has been repaved, with sidewalks added, trees planted and lights installed, he said.

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