The Downtown Revitalization Project marks the culmination of over a decade of work by scores of volunteers and advocates pushing for revitalization. All agreed that addressing infrastructure, sidewalks, lighting, and streetscape were key for economic development and preservation of the Historic Downtown and their positive attitude kept the momentum going. This is the second phase of that goal and one of the most important steps.
Since 2013, City of Macomb Mayor, City Administrator, and city council members have had one thing in mind, reclaiming a successful and vibrant Downtown. With local support, City leaders moved to follow the recommendations of hiring an engineering firm to make recommendations and conduct studies. Hutchison Engineering helped break project goals into baby steps and tackled bite-sized projects within the budget to move ideas forward. After careful consideration, diligent planning, and thoughtful application of resources, the Downtown Revitalization Project was finally moving forward in May 2017 with the first phase of the Downtown Revitalization Project which addressed the storm sewer drainage, removing and rebuilding the middle islands, and milling/overlaying of the pavement to include one block coming off of the square in each direction which was paid by the City’s infrastructure sales tax fund.
Moving into May 2021 the city is able to move forward with the second phase being awarded a $1.2 million, Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP), Grant for the $2.8 million project. As construction begins, remember that it is not just a construction project; it is the restoration of something even more important...hope. It shows how responsive government and determined citizens can prevail over seemingly insurmountable challenges and join forces to improve the quality of life for the entire community.
Construction brings inconveniences as well as progress; dirt, debris, and some delays. Engineers, contractors, and the City are working together to minimize disruptions to business and community life. Caution must be taken throughout the entire project. Cooperation is required to ensure safety and ample parking for employees, customers, and construction workers.
While a positive outlook is the most crucial element to the success of this project, communication is vital from start to finish. The project engineer will be the community liaison during the process, communicating with area businesses on the project status and trying to coordinate daily construction work with the needs of business owners and downtown visitors. Regular downtown project meetings provide Communication opportunities with project engineers, contractors, public works director, downtown development director, and other city staff. The Downtown Macomb Facebook page and an email distribution will offer updates on the project. If you would like to receive email updates, please contact Kristin Terry, Downtown Development Director, to be put on that list. Contact 309-575-3015 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Communication is a two-way street: Coordination with the business community is vital, as no one can effectively anticipate the needs of business owners and operators without their input. Together, we can make the successful completion of this project be the start of a new era for Downtown Macomb.
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