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Archive for Thursday, November 23, 1995

NORTH LAWRENCE PROJECTS CONTINUE

November 23, 1995

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By this time next year, city projects will have pumped more than $5 million into upgrading public areas in North Lawrence -- and that has City Manager Mike Wildgen looking forward to a ripple effect.

Renovation of the Union Pacific Depot, plus this summer's reconstruction of North Second Street, already have triggered numerous private investments along the gateway to downtown, Wildgen said.

This week, Lawrence city commissioners approved spending $78,000 to add landscaping along both sides of the new North Second Street, between Lincoln Street and Industrial Lane.

The city's money will be added to a $312,000 grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation to plant trees, add shrubs and improve the overall appearance of the street, Wildgen said.

"This is one of the last pieces of the puzzle of the era of renovation and rejuvenation of North Second Street," he said. "We're hoping for there to be more green space and less of a harsh, industrial look."

By improving the appearance of the street, businesses could be encouraged to redevelop or rehabilitate existing structures, Wildgen said. LRM's old asphalt plant, for example, could be transformed into something less intense.

"We're certainly hoping that this will make it more attractive for commercial and softer industrial," he said. "It's certainly aimed at helping the looks of that area."

The project, being designed by Landplan Engineering, will be the latest investment of public money into boosting North Lawrence's main street.

Earlier this month, crews began reconstruction of the 5/8-mile section of North Second to widen each of its four lanes from 10 feet to 12 feet. Sidewalks also will be built, along with a new drainage system.

Wildgen said landscaping would begin once the road's construction is complete, likely in mid-July. New trees and shrubs would be planted in areas where the city owns land not yet covered by pavement or sidewalks.

"It's not going to be a uniform strip," he said.alt plant, for example, could be transformed into something less intense.

"We're certainly hoping that this will make it more attractive for commercial and softer industrial," he said. "It's certainly aimed at helping the looks of that area."

The project, being designed by Landplan Engineering, will be the latest investment of public money into boosting North Lawrence's main street.

Earlier this month, crews began reconstruction of the 5/8-mile section of North Second to widen each of its four lanes from 10 feet to 12 feet. Sidewalks also will be built, along with a new drainage system.

Wildgen said landscaping would begin once the road's construction is complete, likely in mid-July. New trees and shrubs would be planted in areas where the city owns land not yet covered by pavement or sidewalks.

"It's not going to be a uniform strip," he said.

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