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Macomb Downtown Project Won't Be Completed This Year

Rich Egger
A construction crew at work on the east side of Macomb's courthouse square on Thursday, September 23, 2021.

Macomb planned to complete its downtown revitalization project by mid-December. But the city said the contractor will ask the state for an extension into the 2022 construction season.

State permission is needed because a $1.3 million Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) grant is helping pay for the project.

McCarthy Improvement Company of Davenport, Iowa, won the project after submitting the low bid of $2.4 million, which is higher than what the city estimated. But the city was on the verge of losing the state grant if it did not proceed with the project.

In approving the bid in March, 2021, city council members indicated the city could cover the rest of the cost with money from a combination of its Capital Equipment, TIF District, and General funds.

Construction crews have completed much of the work on the west side of the square and are currently working on the east side.  They have yet to begin on the north and south sides.

The work includes:

  • New sidewalks, curbs, and gutters
  • Landscaping (including new trees and planting areas)
  • New benches, trash receptacles, and bike racks
  • Lighting
  • Milling/resurfacing of the parking lanes on Jackson, Randolph, and Lafayette Streets in and around the Courthouse Square

This is the second and final phase of Macomb’s Downtown Revitalization Project. Construction crews completed Phase One in 2017. As part of that phase, the city:

  • Repaved the streets around the square
  • Freshly painted parking spots, crosswalks, and directional arrows
  • Installed stop signs
  • Built new medians
  • Improved the storm sewer system

Macomb also applied for a state grant to help pay for Phase One, but the state rejected the application so the city completed the nearly $1.5 million project with money from its infrastructure sales tax.
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