Upgrades to downtown continue


MATTOON, Ill. (WCIA) — Public works leaders are doing their part to attract visitors. A major road project is centered around that very goal. It will update some sidewalks and lighting downtown.

The portion they’re working on right now has a price tag of $370,000. That money is coming from TIF funds that are earmarked for projects like this one. This work will upgrade streets and sidewalks on Broadway.

Right now they’re focusing on the section from 19th street up to the bridge over the railroad. It includes new sidewalks, brick boulevards, and ornamental street lighting. Public Works Director Dean Barber says they have a lot of great things going on in that area that make the city a destination.

“We intend to improve the sidewalks and the street-scaping impact all through the downtown area, but this happens to be one of the places where we join the highway, so it gets your attention, makes you notice, ‘Hey look there’s Mattoon,'” said Barber.

If you want to get a feel for how the upgrades will look once they’re done, check out Heritage Park or the Progress Square parking lot. They all have similar street-scaping.

This phase will be finished this fall. Next year, they’ll bid out for the section of Broadway from 17th street to 16th street. There are several other projects happening downtown. One is a new storage shed for the arts council to store its stage and art equipment. Amtrak is continuing its work on upgrades to its passenger platform.

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