Work to convert North Mulberry Street in Lancaster city to a two-way road began Monday.

The change is part of the city’s policy to put in place what are known as “complete streets” — streets that are accessible and safe for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists, according to Charlotte Katzenmoyer, the city's public works director.

In the three-month first phase, city contractor Pennsy Supply will be working from Vine and Strawberry streets to Orange Street.

The project is expected to take 15 months. Funding for the $2.77 million project comes from $1.52 million in city funds, $675,000 in federal funds and $575,000 in state funds.

Work will include road reconstruction or resurfacing, traffic markings and signals, tree trimming and removal, if needed, and curb ramps for disabled access and stormwater improvements including porous paving and adding vegetated curb extensions.

Vegetated curb extensions are landscaped areas that capture rainwater. They're intended to reduce the amount of rainwater entering the city's combined sanitary and stormwater sewer system during storms.

The ideas is to reduce the amount of untreated sewage that overflows into the Conestoga River and Chesapeake Bay during heavy rains. An example can be seen near Lancaster Brewing Co. on East Walnut Street as part of green infrastructure improvements there.

The project will also include a bike lane.

Work is expected to be done between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Motorists should expect lane and parking restrictions during work hours and overnight parking restrictions in the immediate area of work being done.

The city will provide more details on phasing and scheduling as the project progresses and the schedule can be updated. 

Residents are encouraged to bookmark and check the city’s road construction section of the city website for updates. 

Work had been expected to begin in the fall, but the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation delayed the bid to even its workload, Katzenmoyer said Monday.

Mulberry had been two-way about 40 years ago. Several years ago, Mulberry between West James Street and Harrisburg Avenue was made two-way.

Mulberry south of King Street will remain one-way. To change that block would disrupt traffic flow at the five-way intersection with Vine and Strawberry streets.