Sprucing Up Public Square in Wilkes-Barre

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- A project to revitalize Public Square in downtown Wilkes-Barre began on Monday.

Work has started to revamp the walkways and the landscaping on the square.

Nearly half of Public Square in downtown Wilkes-Barre is now surrounded by orange construction netting.

The city is beginning a six-week project to fix up the square.

"I think it would be nice, kind of brighten things up a little bit. I mean right now, like you said with all the sidewalks, it would be nice to just clean some things up," said Brandon Haefele.

The city plans to make improvements to the walkway on the square as well as improve the landscaping.

One of the owners of King of Kings Gyros in downtown Wilkes-Barre is excited about the work.

"The nicer they make the area, the more people will want to go down and check it out. More foot traffic benefits me and everyone on the square. It's a great little town. A lot of people don't want to take the time to realize it," Jason Negron said.

Work on the east side of Public Square will last about three weeks, then they'll do the west side. Right now, rehabbing the fountain is not a part of the project.

"I grew up playing in that fountain so that I have some sentimental value with that fountain. I think they should because again it brings kids down. Parents bring money, and money makes the world go round," Negron added.

The city is paying for this project with casino money.

This is just the first phase of the project. The city is working to secure more funding to get more work done.

While the work continues, people who walk through the square every day hope the project wraps up quickly as it gets colder.

"It's not going to be good for the workers who have to be out here in the cold and who knows what else is going to happen, whether it's snow or not, so it might take longer than the six weeks," Marytheresa Buzzetta said.

The work on the square will affect the trick or treating event on Halloween.

The event will be moved to South Main Street between Northampton Street and Public Square.

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