By Art Hunter
The first of six phases of renovations to Plane Street in the village of Bethel is currently being completed.
The first phase of the project involves the work from Ash Street to Main Street.
The project will include the replacement of storm sewers and storm water catch basins, new curbs and gutters, sidewalks, and post-style street lighting. The sidewalks will have stamped concrete elements.
One major change to the village’s streetscape will be the removal of the trees from along the sidewalks. Village officials have reported receiving frequent complaints from business owners about the trees blocking their store fronts and making it difficult for them to advertise.
Village administrator Travis Dotson said that the next phase of the project will focus on the section of Plane Street from Main Street to Union Street, and is expected to be completed next year.
“The current phase will be completed over the next couple of months,” Dotson said. “We expect the second phase to be under way in 2014.”
The total cost of the first phase of the project is $377,820.70. Part of the cost of the project is being paid for with an Ohio Public Works grant in the amount of $186,298. The village is contributing matching funds in the amount of $49,522, which is coming out of the village street fund.
The remainder, $142,000, will come from the village electric department and will pay for the new electrical wiring and lighting.
The entire project is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.