BENNINGTON -- If all goes well, a plan to improve part of School Street and Pleasant Street will be ready to put out for bid next construction season.
John Saydek, a landscaping architect for Stevens and Associates, based in Brattleboro, told the Select Board Monday that plans for the project are 25 percent complete.
The plans as they stand have also been sent to the Vermont Agency of Transportation for review. The project area in question is School Street where it runs from Main Street to Pleasant Street between Lucky Dragon and TD Bank, then the southern side of Pleasant Street from School Street to Park Street.
Saydek said the plan is to put six lighting fixtures on School Street on the bank's side, new curbing, and some plants. School Street may also become narrower, but this will not result in a loss of parking.
There was some discussion amongst board members about how to handle tour buses that currently park next to the Lucky Dragon despite there being a bus station a block away down Pleasant Street. It was suggested by a resident that the town look into ways to better accommodate tour buses in the downtown, either by creating designated spaces or working with bus companies to schedule parking reservations.
The project is being funded by a federal Transportation Enhancement Grant that was awarded to the town in 2009, said Michael Harrington, Bennington economic and community development director. The grant is contributing $210,800, while the town is spending $52,700.
Town Manager Stuart Hurd said the town has its own plans to improve Pleasant Street beyond Park Street.
Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.