Pedestrian access to improve in Hempstead

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The Hempstead Village Community Development Agency is working on a $1.6-million construction project to help improve pedestrian access and safety on Main Street through the downtown business district.

The Main Street Pedestrian Access Enhancement Project will feature decorative sidewalks with three new pedestrian crossings, new streetscape furniture, tree-plantings with decorative grates, and new street lamps for better lighting, officials said.

The work will extend from the Centre Street and Nichols intersection south for two blocks to Front Street.

The development corporation has partnered with Syosset-based Gedeon GRC Consulting, which has worked on a variety of roadway design projects on Long Island and in New York City.

The Federal Highway Administration provided the grant for the project.

The work also includes developing a new landscaped park near the Main Street municipal parking lot. It will feature a fountain with bench seating, agency officials said.

The initiative comes as part of the village's efforts to make sidewalks more pedestrian-friendly and revitalize the neighborhood to attract customers to local shops and encourage economic growth, agency Commissioner Claude Gooding said.

The development agency will submit the final project plan to the New York State Department of Transportation.

Then it would put out a request for proposals with the expectation of work starting as early as this summer, officials said.

The expected completion date would be spring 2013, Gooding said.

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