RANTOUL — A project involving infrastructure replacement and streetscape work in downtown Rantoul is underway tonight as the village board is set to discuss a $572,018 engineering contract.
Discussions are held at board study sessions. A vote on this measure will be held at the regular meeting next Tuesday.
Most of the engineering work ($448,118) will be undertaken by Peoria’s lead consultant, Hutchison Engineering. Additional work is done by Massie Massie and Associates ($62,000), Berners Schober ($40,000), and Millenia Professional Services ($21,900).
“We have worked with Hutchison Engineering on several different projects,” said Chris Milliken, the village’s urban planner. “They helped us estimate the cost of our grant application, so we decided to go ahead and go with them to put this engineering contract together.”
Utility infrastructure work includes replacement of all downtown water mains and expansion of storm drains along Tanner and Garrard streets and alleys north and south of Sangamon Avenue.
The cityscape improvement will take place in Sangamon, two blocks east of the Illinois Central Railroad tracks to Century Boulevard. Take Tanner, two blocks south of Sangamon, to Champaign Avenue (US 136). Garrard between alleys north and south of Sangamon. The project involves removing all of Sangamon’s existing roads and sidewalks and building new roads, sidewalks, lighting and landscaping.
Perhaps the highlight of the downtown renovation will be the development of a plaza on the site of the former First National Bank building at the corner of Sangamon and Garrard into a downtown public area.
The large bank building that was once the center of downtown and hosted multiple businesses over the years will be demolished in the summer of 2021. Village officials wanted the building to include a water feature, an amphitheater, built-in seating, new lighting, and possibly signs and murals along the walls of the existing building.
The streetscape project also envisions improved lighting, sidewalks and paving, injecting shots into the downtown arm that needs a makeover as the village seeks to capitalize on the economic upgrades that began in West Rantoul. I hope that Rantoul Family Sports Complex.
Milliken previously estimated that 80% of the street plan was developed by the downtown steering committee. He said he expects the engineering firm to initiate meetings with the committee to provide insights and hold public meetings.
The total price for streetscape, infrastructure and plaza works is set at $4.8 million. Most of the funding comes from his $3 million grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunities. The remaining $1.8 million will come from the village’s share of the federal American Relief Plan Act fund.