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Streator wins big with ITEP grant for downtown improvements

Concept block to be extended and 1-way streets reverted to 2-ways

It’s about to get less complicated when navigating Streator’s downtown.

The city received $487,960 for downtown improvements, which include reworking traffic flow and reverting Vermillion and Monroe streets back to two-way streets.

The city submitted an application for the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program grant, which also will go toward extending Streator’s concept block.

“It’s really great news and we think this will help us keep the momentum that’s already going on Main Street,” said City Manager Scot Wrighton.

Wrighton said the City Council has heard from some merchants as well as from the Streator START committee that felt the one-way streets reflected traffic patterns that better suited downtown decades ago. Two-way streets are expected to remove any confusion for drivers as well as lead to easier navigability without having to drive extra blocks to get to a particular destination.

New signage will be required for the streets, but the larger expense will be the replacement of the traffic lights at the Bridge and Vermillion, Main and Vermillion and Main and Monroe intersections.

Wrighton said the city had applied for the grant two years ago but was denied. City officials then met with the state to identify potential revisions to increase their chance of receiving the grant.

The money also will be used to extend the concept block to the rest of downtown Streator. This includes the streetscape elements such as bump outs, coal cart planters and street lights.

The city will begin paperwork to create a grant agreement with a possible construction start date in 2019.

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