EASTON, Pa. – Plans for revamping the area around Easton’s Centre Square include getting rid of the current two-lane traffic pattern and replacing it with a single lane configuration.
Consulting engineering firm Pennoni Associates provided a presentation to the city council on Wednesday for the park and roadways surrounding Northampton Street. The revamping of the circle is part of a multi-million dollar plan that the city has for the much-needed improvements to the area.
“This will really simplify the traffic flow,” said Earl Armitage of Pennoni Associates.
The overall project will be been broken into three components: the roadways surrounding Centre Square, Centre Square park and the curbing around the area.
The entire project is anticipated to cost $2.765 million. According to officials, the city has procured $2.1 million in grant monies for transportation improvement and $665,000 from PennDOT in a one-time payment to the city after PennDOT gave it back several roads, including those in Centre Square. Officials hope to have construction begin sometime in July 2021 and be completed by June 2022.
“We’re looking to get in and get out of there as quickly as possible, said Public Works Director Dave Hopkins. “Our goal is to minimize disturbance as much as we can."
Centre Square has not seen improvements in 40 years, according to officials. The roadway improvements will include converting Ferry, Second and Spring Garden streets from one-way to two-way streets. Fourth Street has been converted already to a two-way street.
“This will really simplify the traffic flow,” said Armitage.
Around the ring area of the square officials said signaling and timing of the lights would be improved as well as modifying pavement and signage in the area. Armitage said that most of the new traffic signals will be changed to standardized lights around the circle unlike the current light configuration which flashes amber and red at times.
Curbing, which is crumbling and uneven, will also be addressed as part of the overall project.
“We’re looking at taking out entire crosswalks with depressed curbing,” said Armitage. “We’re looking to do a stamped asphalt crosswalk. It’s extremely decorative and it lasts a long time.”
Other improvements call for a facelift to the historic fountain at Centre Square park and expanding the park’s footprint by 20 feet, providing more passive space for both farmer’s market vendors and pedestrians.
“I know 20 feet does not sound like a lot but when you do that to a park that large, that’s a substantial amount of space we’ll have available,” said Armitage.
Additionally, the area around the park square will also be mountable for vehicles when needed under the proposed changes.
Mayor Sal Panto emphasized that the improvements are not just for the famer’s market vendors, though.
“We’re not just making the circle 20 feet wider for the farmer’s market,” said Panto. “Everybody wants to have the events in the circle.”