Council OKs second phase of project
By Matt Caulder
Published in News on July 22, 2013 1:46 PM
The second phase of Streetscape will begin soon on a stretch of Center Street between Mulberry Street and Chestnut Street and will include repaving of the road, landscaping and sidewalk renovation. Several feet of the original brick sidewalk, starting at the building's edge and extending outward, will remain as a way of keeping costs down while allowing access to businesses.
The Goldsboro City Council finalized the design plans for the next two blocks of Streetscape on Center Street at a recent city council work session.
The next phase will extend two blocks from Mulberry Street down to Chestnut Street.
After a presentation by Randy Guthrie, development services director with the Planning Department, the council decided to leave a border of the brickwork that runs along the businesses and build a new section of sidewalk out of concrete with a brick border by the curb like the first phase of Streetscape in front of City Hall.
After holding meetings with downtown business owners, the consensus was that they would prefer an all-new brickwork sidewalk for the next phase of Streetscape, but the idea was shot down by the council due to the increased cost.
The decision was made to maintain part of the existing sidewalk to maintain access to the businesses while also saving money on the project overall.
To do all new walks would cost an extra $200,000.
"I can't see $200,000 of difference here," Councilman Bill Broadaway said. "In five years, it won't matter."
Not including brick bordering on the curb also was discussed.
"I went to Wilmington and they have something like this without the bordering, and it looks great," Councilman Chuck Allen said.
Broadaway suggested keeping the bordering for a compromise with the business owners.
"We'll meet them halfway," he said.
Other aspects of the next section of Streetscape will involve the construction of two roundabouts, one at Mulberry Street and another at Chestnut Street.
The median will also be turned into a green space with a concrete sitting area with benches much like the one in the median in front of City Hall, Guthrie said.
The generally preferred option for the median was to include a sidewalk in the median, but after the decision to install the roundabouts was made, it was decided that it would not make sense to have a walking path through the middle of the intersection.
The single-lane roundabouts will have mountable curbs for emergency vehicles to pass as well as allowing tractor trailer trucks to deliver products to vendors and make U-turns on Center Street.
The angled parking on the median side of Center Street will be adjusted to allow drivers a better angle to see oncoming traffic when backing out and the right side angled parking will be made into parallel parking spaces to make room for the extended walkway.
The next phase of Streetscape is part of the United States Department of Transportation TIGER 2013 grant, which the city hopes to use for the local match for the project, if it is awarded the grant to renovate Goldsboro Union Station. The Union Station project would renovate the building as a meeting space and prepare it for the return of passenger rail to Goldsboro if it comes. The grant also will fund the construction of a Gateway bus transfer station.
The next phase of Streetscape is expected to cost about $5.4 million, which would make up the 20 percent local match demanded by the TIGER 2013 project if the city were to be chosen to receive a grant for the $27 million project.