BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — A decade in the making, Front Street leading to downtown Binghamton finally has a new look.
Despite some finishing touches still being needed, the street officially opened Thursday after on-and-off construction closed it for nearly two years.
Binghamton Mayor Rich David made the Front Street Gateway Project one of the signature infrastructure investments of his administration, and says the newly-renovated roadway will lead to better business for the city.
“This is a street frankly that many people were embarrassed to direct people,” David said. “This is a beautiful gateway that the residents and the motorists should be proud of.”
During the time Front Street has been closed for construction, several local businesses say they have financially suffered, as a lack of pedestrians has decreased revenue streams.
“Foot traffic is a big deal, and there’s only so many people that live around here, so it’s definitely impacted our business for sure,” said Peter Kapogiannatos, the manager of the Red Oak Diner.
The cost of the gateway project is roughly $6M. Mayor David said most of that money comes from federal and state grants, with the city responsible for only a small portion of the project. Besides just improving road conditions, the project also repaired the flood wall along the Susquehanna, reworked the water and sewer lines and generally beautified the area.
The mayor said it will take one to two weeks for small projects like new signs and road markings before the road is completely finished.