Covering the Land of Lincoln

Rantoul Village Board to discuss downtown streetscape/infrastructure project | Politics

RANTOUL — A project involving infrastructure replacement and streetscape work in downtown Rantoul is expected to move forward tonight as the village board is scheduled to discuss a $572,018 engineering agreement.

The discussion will take place during the board’s study session. A vote on the measure is expected to take place at next Tuesday’s regular meeting.

The bulk of the engineering work ($448,118) would be undertaken by prime consultant Hutchison Engineering of Peoria. Additional work would be done by Massie Massie and Associates ($62,000), Berners Schober ($40,000) and Millenia Professional Services ($21,900).

“We had worked with Hutchison Engineering on a couple of different projects,” said Chris Milliken, the village’s urban planner. “They had helped with the cost estimates for the grant application, so we went ahead and decided to go with them to put this engineering agreement together.”

The utility infrastructure work will include replacing all downtown water mains and extending the storm sewers along Tanner and Garrard streets and in the alleys north and south of Sangamon Avenue.

Streetscape improvements will take place on Sangamon two blocks from the Illinois Central railroad tracks east to Century Boulevard; on Tanner from Sangamon two blocks south to Champaign Avenue (US 136); and on Garrard between the alleys north and south of Sangamon. The project will involve the removal of all existing streets and sidewalks and construction of new streets, sidewalks, lighting and landscaping on Sangamon.

Perhaps the highlight of the downtown renovation will be the development of a plaza at the site of the former First National Bank building at the corner of Sangamon and Garrard into a downtown public area.

Once the anchor of downtown, the large bank building, which held multiple businesses over the years, was demolished in the summer of 2021. Village officials envision it as the site of a water feature, amphitheater, built-in seating, new lighting and possibly signs and murals along the walls of existing buildings.

The streetscape project also envisions upgraded lighting, sidewalks and pavement to hopefully inject a shot in the arm of a downtown that is in need of a makeover as the village seeks to take advantage of an economic upgrade that started in west Rantoul with the construction of the Rantoul Family Sports Complex.

Milliken estimated earlier that 80 percent of the streetscape plan had been formulated by a downtown steering committee. He said he expects the engineering firm to begin meeting with the committee to provide insight as well as hold meetings open to the public.

Total price tag of streetscape, infrastructure and plaza work has been placed at $4.8 million. The bulk of the funding will come from a $3 million Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity grant. The remaining $1.8 million will come out of the village’s share of federal American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Comments are closed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More