Allentown streetscape committee will make recommendations for project

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ALLENTOWN – The Borough Council has created a panel that will assist officials in planning the second phase of Allentown’s streetscape improvements and named members to the advisory body.

In a resolution, council members said they “recognize the need to get feedback from key borough commissions and community groups as well as residents on Church and Main streets on the project’s design.”

The Historic Streetscape Phase II Committee will make recommendations to the mayor, council and borough engineer for the design of Phase II of the historic streetscape project.

The following individuals were named to the committee: Terry Brown, chairman of the Shade Tree Commission and a resident of Church Street; Nancy Tindall, chairwoman of the Environmental Commission; Jan Meerwarth, chairwoman of the Historic Preservation Review Committee; Therese Wagner, a representative of The Allentown Village Initiative; James Ford, a resident of Main Street; Nancy Conine, a resident of Church Street; Councilman Robert Strovinsky, co-chairman of the committee; and council President Thomas Fritts, co-chairman of the committee.

The council has adopted a bond ordinance appropriating $1.9 million and authorizing the issuance of $1 million in bonds and notes to finance a portion of the streetscape improvements.

Municipal officials have said a portion of the streetscape improvements will be paid for with grants Allentown received for the initiative, specifically $854,000 from the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority and $235,000 from the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Mayor Greg Westfall has said the improvements will include the replacement of deteriorated curbing and sidewalks and bring the area targeted for improvement into full compliance with standards established by the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The proposed improvements may extend west on Church Street to the borough limits and north on Main Street to Broad Street, he said.

Existing sidewalks are expected to be replaced with a combination of brick pavers and concrete, and concrete curb will be installed to match the improvements that were completed during the first phase of the streetscape project, according to the mayor.

In addition, street trees that are more suitable for streetscapes will be planted in place of any trees that have to be removed in order to properly reconstruct the sidewalks and curbs.

Strovinsky said it is expected that most of the second phase of the streetscape improvements will occur in residential areas. Allentown’s downtown district was the focus of the first phase of the streetscape improvements.