WILKES-BARRE, May 22,  2017 — Wilkes University marked the beginning of a $1.5 million streetscape improvement project in downtown Wilkes-Barre this morning. Senator John T. Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) joined Dr. Patrick Leahy, President of Wilkes University, Mayor Anthony George and other state officials to make the first pave cuts for a project that will upgrade sidewalks, install ADA compliant ramps, plant new trees, and install 40 new streetlights along sections of South and South Franklin Streets.

The project is financed by $1,070,000 from the Transportation Alternative Program (“TAP”), which is administered by PennDOT, and $430,000 of matching funds by Wilkes University. The new sidewalks, curb ramps, and streetlights have been designed to conform with other streetscape improvement projects that had been spearheaded by the City of Wilkes-Barre so that the downtown, a bustling residential and commercial district, will look uniform.

Senator Yudichak applauded Wilkes’ commitment to the city and commended its role as a job creator and economic development engine for the entire region. “The historic and unprecedented private investment strategy employed by Wilkes University over the last few years has attracted millions of dollars in public funding that has greatly improved campus facilities and the infrastructure of Wilkes-Barre,” he said.

The entire project is expected to be completed before the end of August.