ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The rebirth of Lark Street made some headway on Thursday when crews started work on the final paving operations. Lane shifts and intersection closures are expected to occur between Washington Avenue and Madison Avenue until Friday, expect delays and find alternate routes if possible.
The project includes a new street surface, sidewalks, trees, ADA-compliant ramps and street striping.
“It feels great. It’s definitely caused somewhat of a hassle for the residents around here, but it’s just been great to see the improvements overall,” said local resident Amanda Keays.
She’s excited about the project and looks forward to the improvements that will benefit people with disabilities.
“Ultimately, it’s going to be very helpful but I mean you know I’m thankfully able-bodied and it was tough for me to get around, so I’m sure you know those with disabilities took the toll the hardest,” said Keays.
Patrick Noonan is the chairman of the Lark Street Business Improvement District and said “Project Revitalizing Lark Street” will bring the area into ADA compliance.
Noonan is the owner of El Loco Mexican Cafe. The improvements are personal to him and his business.
“I’m very excited to have this part of the project done, which means our businesses can get back to normal. It also means that a lot of folks can come visit us and be able to park and walk around safely and comfortably,” said Noonan.
He said they are a little bit behind schedule but is glad the sidewalk improvements will be completed ahead of Small Business Saturday next week and the holiday season.
“We’re very happy with the way everything has turned out. There’s still some dotting of i’s and crossing of t’s in terms of the overhead lights, which everyone is excited about, and enhanced lighting as well so when this thing is done it’s gonna look beautiful and we’re very excited,” said Noonan.
Above-ground electrical work is anticipated to be completed by mid-December. Noonan said looking ahead, there’s a lot more to be done in terms of beautification.
He said there’s a beautification committee and hopes the plans to improve the area will bring in new retailers and restaurants. Noonan said Lark Street has a roughly 90 percent occupancy rate.
The project was made possible through a historic $22 million investment to revitalize more than a dozen miles of streets and sidewalks as proposed in Mayor Kathy Sheehan’s 2023 City of Albany Budget.