The next phase of Jacksonville’s Downtown Turnaround project just took another step toward reality.
The City has been awarded a nearly $3 million grant for the planned reconstruction of South Main Street.
The funding is part of the $106 million in grants through the Rebuild Illinois Downtowns and Main Streets Capitol Program announced today by Governor J.B. Pritzker.
Jacksonville Mayor Andy Ezard says this is big for the City of Jacksonville. “This is a little bit different. I mean, it is part of the downtown but it is the reconstruction of South Main Street from the town brook to Beecher Street to where the previous South Main ITEP project stops.
It will include the reconstruction of the South Main Street bridge, which is huge. It was identified as a troubling bridge. The project will include new water mains, storm sewer, it will be streetscaped similar to the downtown project.”
The $2.89 million grant should cover the cost of the renovation project with the city pitching in $500,000 for engineering costs, however, Ezard says that portion will come from the city’s Motor Fuel Tax.
Ezard says the grant is a big get for the city along with several other infrastructure projects that have been given the green light in recent months. “It’s unknown when that grant agreement will be received from DCEO, but I anticipate in talking with Jim Burke at Hutchison, our engineer on the project, that construction will not occur before 2024.
So there’s some time and we’ve got some good things in the pipeline already. Obviously, the Lincoln Avenue bridge is first then hopefully the South Main section, and then we also have identified the East College bridge and that will be a big project that needs to happen soon than later. And then we just went out for ITEP funding for the West State Street portion of our downtown. So there’s things in the pipeline but we are certainly very happy for this grant for this project.”
Ezard says the work to reconstruct South Main Street will look very similar to the previous reconstruction of North Main Street heading away from the downtown area.
Other area projects that received grants in the listening were $1.9 million to the City of Carrollton for courthouse square improvements, and $2.8 million to Pittsfield for Monroe Street reconstruction and streetscaping,
A total of 50 communities in Illinois will benefit from the grants awarded today.