Projects in Columbia and Millstadt were among those approved recently for grants through the Illinois Department of Transportation.
IDOT announced a nearly $36 million investment to expand travel options and enhance the quality of life in communities throughout the state.
The 53 projects approved through IDOT’s Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program include biking and walking paths, trails, streetscape beautification work and other projects designed to encourage safe travel across the various modes of transportation at the local level.
Made possible by federal funds administered by IDOT, ITEP awards are focused on improving bike and pedestrian travel, as well as other surface transportation improvements that promote alternative options for getting around your community.
To be eligible, applicants must commit a local match of at least 20 percent to their project and demonstrate a plan to have their awards spent within four years.
Columbia’s Main Street Streetscape Phase 3 was one of the approved projects for this grant in the amount of $600,720. The remaining cost, of which Columbia is responsible, will be paid for out of the capital development fund. Engineering costs will largely be paid through the Motor Fuel Tax funds, according to Columbia City Engineer Chris Smith.
The project will extend from Cherry Street to Madison Street. The scope of improvements will include installing new sidewalks, decorative brick crosswalks at intersections, new curbs and guttering, and decorative lighting and trees, like what was installed in 2014 in the block in front of City Hall.
Columbia’s Main Street Streetscape Phase 2, which will extend north from Oak Street to Whiteside Street, will likely commence this summer, Smith said.
Millstadt’s Washington Street Streetscape improvement project was also approved in the amount of $245,150.
In other recent city of Columbia news:
• Andrew Krump was hired as a part-time park enforcement police officer. He is currently an EMT with Columbia Ambulance Service and a volunteer firefighter with Columbia Fire Department.
Krump will have to pass a state police background check and complete 40 hours of use-of-force training to prepare to use a weapon. Once he is ready for service, he will patrol city parks and walking/bicycle paths using a utility task vehicle, according to Columbia Police Chief Jerry Paul.
• The new dedicated Route 3 corridor traffic enforcement officer began work May 6, Paul said. The officer’s unmarked vehicle is still being retro-fitted, but it is expected to be ready by the end of this week.