ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — Altoona Mayor Matt Pacifico has announced the temporary closing of a street in Downtown Altoona to allow restaurants to better operate with social distancing requirements.
Beginning on July 1, the city will close 14th Street between 11th Avenue and the 11th Avenue alley adjoining the First Lutheran Church, across the street from Heritage Plaza.
“The Governor’s COVID-19 closure has been devastating for local businesses, particularly restaurants. We’re closing the street to allow some downtown restaurants to have more dining space while maintaining social distancing,” Pacifico said.
The longest-tenured member of the City Council, Bruce Kelley, echoed the Mayor’s sentiments. “Downtown is the heart of Altoona. If temporarily closing a lightly-used street gives some of our businesses a fighting chance to survive, we’re going to do it,” said Kelley.
The scheduled closure will begin on July 1. City officials expect the street to remain closed until work at nearby Heritage Plaza is completed around Labor Day.
City officials were quick to thank the ABCD Corporation and the Greater Altoona Economic Development Corporation (GAEDC) for underwriting the liability insurance for the proposed outdoor dining area.