Macomb aldermen decided to proceed with the revitalization project even though the city will have to spend its own money.
The city hoped for state funding and applied for a state grant three times – but was turned down each time. So instead it will use $900,000 of its bond funds. The revitalization project was planned for a four block stretch, but for now the city will make improvements to just the first two blocks from North Lafayette St. through the North Johnson St. intersection.
Those improvements include:
- The addition of a turn lane
- A landscaped median at the Lafayette St. intersection
- Rebuilt and widened sidewalks on both sides of Adams St.
- Street resurfacing
- A major enhancement in the alleyway that runs from Adams to the railroad tracks; it will include a sidewalk and a bike path.
Mayor Mike Inman said the work has been in the planning stages for several years. He said the improvements will make it easier for the community to get from the core of the university to the heart of the downtown.
The plan is to begin construction in mid-May, after Western Illinois University concludes its spring semester. The city hopes to complete the project by mid-August, before students return for the fall semester.