BENNINGTON — Franklin Lane won’t seem like a dimly lit city alley anymore once an ongoing town street enhancement project is completed.
Project goals are to add lighting and an attractive walkway along Franklin Lane between the Drysdale Building and the Harvest Brewing building to make it more amenable and safer for pedestrians.
Franklin Lane is a short street that runs alongside the four-block Putnam Block redevelopment site to the rear parking lot behind the courthouse building and Hotel Putnam and across from the Winslow Block on the north.
The three historic structures were completely renovated during the first phase of the Putnam Block project and now include a mix of commercial and retail space and housing units.
Franklin Lane also connects about 100 yards farther west to Washington Avenue, where a third phase of the Putnam project, involving multiple housing units, is envisioned.
Bennington received a grant in 2020 from the Downtown Transportation Fund to jump-start the project. The project budget totals $120,000, Assistant Town Manager Daniel Monks said this week, and includes $50,000 in grant money and a $50,000 in-kind match from the town, as town crews are performing much of the work along with subcontractors.
The town also worked with Goldstone Architecture and MSK Engineers on the project.
The work is expected to take four to eight weeks to complete, depending on the schedule for subcontractors. The South Street entrance to Franklin Lane currently is closed off to traffic.
Among features of the alleyway upgrade will be a separate pedestrian surface with decorative paving alongside the street paving, and new structures to screen waste receptacles and gas meters along the wall of the Drysdale Building.