Sandusky officials have geared up to upgrade Water Street between Shelby and Wayne streets, spending $178,500 on design work. The project aims to:
• Resurface the road between Wayne and Lawrence streets.
• Install new curbs and sidewalks between Lawrence and Jackson streets.
• Place new bricks, street lights and tree grates between Jackson and Decatur streets.
• Construct new curbs, gutters and sidewalks between Lawrence and Shelby streets.
• Extend the Sandusky Bay Pathway, a linear trail throughout downtown Sandusky that hugs the shoreline, for use by joggers and bicyclists.
“This is important to get done because it’s another piece to all the improvements we’re doing to downtown,” city commissioner Wes Poole said.
In the past few years, several new businesses — Hot Dog Tony’s, Kharma Spa Experience and aha creative, among others — have popped up. Plus, tourists travel on Water Street when accessing the Paper District Marina or the Shelby Street Public Boat Launch.
“Water Street needs to be attractive for people coming into the city,” Poole said. “It’s money well spent that has been on the schedule to get for some time.”
Officials from Sandusky and Erie County planned years ago to enhance Water Street. The $1.1 million project breaks down with city taxpayers contributing $220,000 and federal funds covering the remainder.
“These funds are important, specially in times where governments face difficulties in acquiring funds,” Erie Regional Planning director Steve Poggiali said.
At least one resident contends city funds should be spent on more dire areas.
“Why are we doing this street?” Fifth Street resident Sharon Johnson said when speaking to commissioners in a public meeting. “It isn’t that bad. Why aren’t we doing Shoreline Drive instead?"
Water Street resurfacing
• Resurfacing of East Water Street, from Shelby to Wayne streets, should start and end in 2015.
• The project should cost $1.1 million, with city taxpayers spending $220,000 and the remaining $880,000 paid with federal dollars.
• City commissioners recently agreed to spend $178,500 for design, an additional cost from the $220,000 they’re committing.