Batavia will break ground Saturday on a multiyear project to spiff up public areas of the downtown.
A ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. at River and State streets, in front of the parking garage.
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Construction is scheduled to begin Monday on River Street and May 25 on Houston Street, and work is expected to conclude by mid-October.
The city's goal is to create a pedestrian-friendly downtown, as a catalyst to revitalize the area. Changes to streets, sidewalks, lighting, landscaping and related infrastructure are in the plan.
North River will get pavers for the street, to integrate with paver sidewalks, for a "shared," mall-like atmosphere. Benches, planters, bicycle racks and an entrance arch will be installed. And there will be three-level water fountains with spigots for adults, children and pets.
On Houston, the diagonal parking near the Riverwalk will be converted to parallel parking, a separate sidewalk will be installed on the north side and extended to Batavia Avenue, and the right-turn lane at Batavia Avenue might be eliminated. New water mains will also be put in.
North River will be closed to vehicles from the second week of May through mid-October. Houston will be closed from mid-July to mid-October.
The budget for the project is $3.5 million for River Street and $2 million for Houston Street. It is being paid for with property taxes designated for improving the downtown, through a tax-increment financing district.
The city expects to do work on Wilson Street in 2013. That work will also be paid for with TIF money, plus $1.5 million from the state.
The schedule and the designs for the project can be found on the city's website,
The city is also seeking money from the state for a plan to install seven pedestrian-activated crossing lights: four on Batavia Avenue from Houston Street to Millview Drive, and three on Route 25.
Drawings of the plans, and other details of the project, are on the city's website at bataviaprojectstreetscape.com. Questions can be left on the Streetscape Hotline at (630) 454-2777, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.