VALORIE EVERSOLE - Daily Union Reporter
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
Downtown Shelbyville will be getting a facelift thanks to a federal grant awarded by the Illinois Department of Transportation.
City Engineer Alan Spesard received word Wednesday that Shelbyville is one of the recipients of the funding through the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP). The ITEP is a federally-funded, competitive program that encourages transportation-related enhancement project in a variety of categories such as bike paths, walking trails, historic preservation and streetscape beautification in Illinois communities.
“We are very excited to help move these very important projects forward,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider. “This community-based program will expand travel options, improve safety and enhance the quality of life of residents throughout Illinois.”
“Everybody’s happy about it,” Spesard said. “The Downtown Works committee was the key in applying for the grant. This was the second time we applied for it and was successful this time.”
Spesard added that State Representative Adam Brown notified him of the award. State Senator Chapin Rose and U.S. Representative John Shimkus also aided in the award process.
The $1,041,630 grant is 80 percent of the nearly $1.3 million estimated for the project. The other 20 percent will be funded locally through TIF and Business District funds.
According to Spesard, the project encompasses Main Street between Washington and Broadway streets. Improvements include landscaping; decorative sidewalks; ADA compliant ramps, crosswalks, and sidewalks; decorative pedestrian and overhead lighting; site furnishings; curb and gutter adjustments; parking revisions; and incidentals.
“Work won’t begin until 2014. We have to do bid letting for the work,” Spesard said.
Other phases of the streetscape project, including the Mini-park, Courthouse parking lot, building facades, and bike trail connector at the east edge of town, have already been approved for funding through the TIF and Business District funds.
“This is an exciting time for Shelbyville with all the improvement projects around town,” said City street commissioner Jeff Johnson.
The project will be further presented at Monday evening’s city council meeting.