Signs detailing the new traffic patterns will go up Monday.
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Downtown drivers will have new directions to follow next week.
City officials are preparing for the second phase of roadwork as part of the downtown revitalization project.
Starting Monday, traffic will not be permitted on East Washington Street from North Mill Street to East Street. North Mill Street, from East Washington to Sycamore Street, will also be closed.
To help traffic flow, the city is reopening the intersection at Mercer and East Washington streets, and Mercer Street will again become one way going south, said Gregg Del Principe of RAR Engineering, the civil engineering firm working on the project.
The first two blocks of East Washington Street that have been closed for the past few months will remain closed, Mayor Timothy Fulkerson added. The newly poured concrete streets are still curing and the streets will reopen when that is done, he said.
City officials will also make North Street, from East Street to North Mill Street, open to two-way traffic. The street is now one way going west.
Del Principe said these traffic changes will likely remain in place until late September or October.
About the project
The $5 million project is intended to make downtown more attractive to new businesses and shoppers and includes new underground utilities, sidewalks, traffic signals, lighting, roads and parking.
The revitalization effort is being done in conjunction with the renovation of the first theater owned by the Warner brothers, Youngstown natives who went on to become Hollywood movie moguls. A Hollywood-theme mall is planned for the area around the theater.
New Castle Police Lt. Thomas Macri said drivers should watch for new signs relaying the different traffic patterns.
He noted that a detour from Highland Avenue will also be set up to help motorists avoid downtown altogether. It will entail turning onto Wallace Avenue and then Pa. Route 18 to make it easier to access the east and west sides of the city, he said.
"Please look for the new signs. These traffic patterns will change sometime on Monday," Macri said.