A major summer construction project has just wrapped up in downtown Macomb and the city is already looking ahead to possibly making more improvements in a couple of years.
Phase 1 of the downtown revitalization project included repaving the streets and freshly painting parking spots, crosswalks, and directional arrows indicating that the road is one-way.
In addition, stop signs were installed at the intersection of all six entrances of the square to slow down drivers going downtown. The stop signs also make it clear that the cars already on the square have the right-of-way.
Construction crews also improved the storm sewers, built new medians, and added back a fourth lane of parking around the McDonough County Courthouse.
Mayor Mike Inman thanked the community and downtown business owners for their patience and understanding during the construction project. He said the work greatly improved the square and brought it into ADA compliance.
“This was kind of what we needed to do. The driving surface on the square was past its useful life. This project addressed those challenges and moves us ahead for a good couple of decades into the future before anyone should have to worry about coming onto the square and doing any other improvements again,” Inman said.
The city had applied for a grant through the Illinois Department of Transportation to help pay for Phase 1 of the downtown project. But the city’s application was turned down. So, the city decided to complete the nearly $1.5 million project anyway with its own money.
Inman said the city plans to apply for state grant this fall to help pay for Phase 2 of the project. That would include some more streetscaping, additional lighting, and improvements to the sidewalk that wraps around the square.
The city is hopeful since most of the projects awarded IDOT grant money last time were for continuing development, not start-up costs. Inman said applications are due in October and if the city is awarded grant money, the second round of construction could begin in 2019.