CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — In February, the City of Champaign started a project in Garden Hills that residents were thrilled about. Now, they are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel… or perhaps, the street.
A street light project has been paid for by $4 million in American Rescue Plan Act money. Street lights are being installed throughout the neighborhood. It’s all in an effort to achieve Victory Over Violence.
The community was built with no street lights. The city did install a few over the neighborhood’s 50-year span, but now the neighborhood is getting a makeover.
“Now we are, as you can see, putting light poles up or putting fixtures up,” Civil Engineer Tyler Suits said. “We’re still waiting on the lighting controllers to come in. We don’t have those.”
With more than a hundred street lights being set up, contractors are ahead of schedule. Suits said that they hope to start turning some lights on within the next month. He said his is one of the top issues residents have brought up because of safety hazards.
Those living in the area are relieved.
“You know, we’re glad to see that the city is trying to make improvements to this community. And they had an ample reason for needing this community to be a little bit more developed,” Reverend Michael Wright, a resident, said.
Wright said you can’t have development without safety.
“There have been a number of shootings out here, and so hopefully this situation with the lighting will improve that and, you know, decrease the number of those type of events that we have out here.”
Suits said the next project they’re trying to tackle is putting sidewalks in the community.