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Construction on Binghamton's State Street wraps up in time for 'First Friday Art Walk'

Mark Yonaty, owner of Social on State, a restaurant on the newly upgraded street.
Phoebe Taylor Vuolo
Mark Yonaty, owner of Social on State, a restaurant on the newly upgraded street.

After more than a year, construction work to upgrade State Street in downtown Binghamton wrapped up last week. The upgrades were the first phase in the city’s downtown arts district improvement plan.

The project involves making State Street part of a walkable arts district with wider sidewalks for outdoor dining, benches, and new lighting.

The city spent $3.9 million on the project, which also involved milling and paving the road. The construction meant the street was closed off multiple times throughout the year, causing frustration among some of State Street’s business owners.

Mark Yonaty owns Social on State, a restaurant on the block. He said he hopes the community will come to check out the new upgrades.

“I encourage them to support the small businesses,” Yonaty said. “It was certainly a tough year for us all getting through the construction. But overall, the street has come out beautiful. And we're very thankful.”

Binghamton Mayor Jared Kraham said the construction is just the first phase in a project to create a walkable arts district in the city’s downtown.

“This street had not seen a meaningful rehabilitation or reconstruction, since the canal was filled in in the early part of the 20th century,” Kraham said.

Nearly $2 million of the city’s funding came from a state grant to create an arts and culture district on parts of Water, Washington, State, Henry, and Lewis streets.

Construction wrapped up in time for this week’s First Friday Art Walk, which offers live music and art exhibitions throughout the downtown area.