by Jonathan Weaver
A new addition to the Market Street streetscape project in downtown Kittanning was completed yesterday.
A street clock has been installed on the plaza between Citizens Bank and NexTier Bank.
Armstrong County Planning & Development Program Manager Tom Swisher said the clock, manufactured in Medfield, Mass. arrived Tuesday and was connected to underground electricity yesterday morning.
“It arrived (Tuesday) around lunchtime and they had it installed by end of day, and the electric was hooked up early (Wednesday) morning,” Swisher said. “We looked at some different spots up and down Market Street and just felt that plaza was really the best suited to showcase the clock the best and be the best visibility from the street.
“We felt it would fit in to the streetscape as a whole in that area.”
Kittanning Borough and M&B Services’ employees installed the clock
Swisher explained that, while the clock wasn’t an initial part of the downtown revitalization, he thought it was a nice extension.
“It’s nice to see things roll forward,” Swisher said.
The clock, which is at least 10 feet tall and weighs a few hundred pounds, was funded by a private donor. At the donor’s request, the clock is dedicated to the Veterans of Armstrong County.
Market Street Revitalization Committee Chairman Andy Bradigan said he was “very, very excited” the project was complete, and also “very much supported” the donor’s dedication stipulation.
“We do not do enough for our veterans, not only in this community but in this country, to recognize the sacrifices and the dedication and service they provided. The fact that the veterans are displayed loud-and-clear on this clock is one thing that we should all be very proud of,” Bradigan said. “This is one way we get to constantly do that day-in and day-out.”
Bradigan’s grandfather – Paul, Sr. – served in the U.S. Army, an uncle served in the Vietnam War and Bradigan also has close family friends that were or still are in the military.
A member of the approximately 15-person committee for several years, Bradigan hopes to walk his family and three children – sons, 18-year-old Ryan and five-year-old Aiden and four-year-old daughter, Harper – through the plaza during their summer activities.
“I felt that this project, not only for (Bradigans, Inc) but for myself personally and my family, was a nice way for me to get involved and do something that allows the future of Kittanning to grow and prosper,” Bradigan said. “Obviously, the hope of the committee is that this revitalization does exactly that – brings commerce and business, recreation and tourism back to downtown Kittanning as it once was.
“Getting involved, I felt, was the best thing to do for my future, my company’s future, my family’s future – I want to leave a legacy I can be proud of.”
While Bradigan has been with his family’s company for more than 13 years, Bradigan’s Inc. has been located in downtown Kittanning since its inception in 1952.
Planning and Development Program Manager Sally Conklin said earlier this year that the clock was solely added as part of a five-figure donation.
County Planners hope to complete the rest of Phase II, including all utility relocation, installation of the ornamental traffic signal poles, benches and trash receptacles, as well as planting of the Red Rocket Maples at the intersections, before the Fort Armstrong Folk Festival – scheduled to begin Thursday, August 4 along North Water Street.