WORMLEYSBURG, PA (September 11, 2009) - The first in a series of revitalization projects in Wormleysburg Borough gets underway Wednesday evening, September 16 at 6:30 p.m., with a groundbreaking event to begin construction of the $212,000 plaza at the approach of the Walnut St./People's Bridge on Front St. Wormleysburg Borough and Cumberland County officials will join federal, state and local representatives, including the Wormleysburg Downtown Revitalization Committee comprised of residents and business interests, who funded the project and championed the design which will compliment coming works such as the riverwalk and streetscaping in this section of the Edgewater District.
Closed in January 1996 after flooding and ice jams dislodged and destroyed part of the western span of the metal truss bridge, the plaza project will restore the approach area adding features such as benches, planters, decorative brick walkways, fencing and landscaping including street trees. The objective-to turn what over the years has become an eyesore of blistered asphalt, overgrowth and cautionary signing into an inviting riverfront stop and part of the coming streetscape along Front St. While the future of the bridge remains uncertain, the plaza design was deliberate in that the features can be modified, moved, should it reopen. Century Engineering, the borough's engineer-of-record and design consultant for the project, was tasked with providing a project that was welcoming, green and could serve as a plaza or as the gateway to a reopened pedestrian bridge. Lobar Associates, Inc., is the general contractor for construction which is expected to be completed within 90 days.
Design and construction of the bridge plaza was funded through grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Growing Greener II program, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and a Community Revitalization grant secured by former Sen. Harold F. Mowery and Community Development Block Grant awards through the Cumberland/Perry Housing and Community Partnership and Cumberland County.
Attendees at the 6:30 p.m. event at the bridge approach site will also be the first to see Wormleysburg Borough's new gateway signs when they are unveiled by members of the Wormleysburg Downtown Revitalization Committee.
A number of other Wormleysburg revitalization initiatives are underway. The bid opening for the first phase of the riverwalk along Front St. -this section from Duke's Riverside north to the Pine St. boat access ramp-is scheduled for September 30. That will enable construction to get underway in 2009 for a 2010 completion. The riverwalk will be part of the Cumberland County Greenway System. Wormleysburg is also part of a multi-municipal streetscape project, now in the conceptual design phase, that also involves Camp Hill and Lemoyne Boroughs. The streetscape project area includes the Market St. corridor from 24th St. in Camp Hill, through Lemoyne and the bottleneck and onto Front St. up to the Harvey Taylor Bridge. That study, being conducted by the Kairos Design Group, will be presented to the three borough councils in December 2009.
According to Chris Gulotta, executive director of the Cumberland/Perry Housing and Community Partnership which works with the borough and its Downtown Revitalization Committee and will administer the construction contract, Wormleysburg has a unique opportunity for development because of its riverfront. He pointed to a Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau study released in early 2009 that assessed the county's tourism inventory, needs, challenges and attributes. "Most wanted" additional features or venues, according to tourists and would-be travelers, included festivals (events) and more waterfront dining, shopping and entertainment. That was very good news for Wormleysburg, and the committee has following up on that "request" with a variety of projects and plans for developing the waterfront along the section named Pennsylvania's 2009 River of the Year.
Those expected at the September 16 event include Gulotta, State Sen. Patricia Vance, State Reps. Sheryl Delozier and Glen Grell, Wormleysburg Borough Council President Thomas Martini, Mayor George Preble, Downtown Revitalization Committee Chairman Joseph Deklinski and fellow members, as well as representatives of The People's Bridge Coalition with a very special presentation to Wormleysburg Borough.
Parking is available at the Wormleysburg Borough Hall and at on-street locations in the neighborhood. Those attending the event are requested to utilize business parking only if patronizing those establishments that evening.
Additional information on the bridge plaza project, September 16 events and other Wormleysburg Revitalization initiatives is available by contacting Rebecca Yearick, downtown coordinator, at toll-free 866-683-5907, ext. 117, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.