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Lewiston Downtown to See Face Lift with Help of Students and Community

Lewiston’s downtown will soon be getting a face lift with the help of metal baskets.

Lewiston paired up with students learning unique trade skills at the Industrial Arts Institute through Moran Iron Works.

9 & 10’s Blayke Roznowski and photojournalist Noah Jurik take us to downtown with more on how the unique project came together.

"It’s that beautification project that has multiple prongs to it," Lewiston Downtown Development Authority chairperson Shawn Huston said. 

It started with the idea of wanting a median in downtown Lewiston, but with intense winters requiring major snow plowing, a permanent median was out of the question.

"This was a product I happened to find online from a city out in Utah," Huston said.

That product was a Gabion Basket, which is a metal creation that can hold a tree, but can be moved when the snow starts to fly. 

A local builder donated two for a test run last year.

"They put a couple experimental ones out just south of us," Northland Stoves & Fireplaces owner Jerry Boron said. "I was pretty impressed. I thought it was a good idea and it really enhanced the downtown area."

With the help of community members donating $17,000 and students from the Industrial Arts Institute welding the baskets, downtown Lewiston will soon have 12 baskets creating a median downtown.

They’re going to put the 12 baskets right on Kneeland St. and with such wide roads, they’re hoping it looks beautiful, but also improves safety.

"They slow traffic down a little bit and make it look nice," Boron said.

"Slow the drivers down so that they can look around and see what’s there, which helps our businesses and then just narrows the streets enough with that beautiful tree," Huston said. 

The baskets will be on the street before Memorial Day.

They are still in need of donations for upkeep of the trees and you can help by contacting the