Streator city officials are keeping a Main Street beautification project on track with a goal of beginning work in spring.
Utilizing a roughly $487,000 grant from the state and TIF funds for its local match of 20 percent, the City Council will continue what it started in the 300 block of East Main Street, between Monroe and Vermillion streets, known as the "concept block," down Main Street from the Vermilion River to Wasson Street.
During this project, Monroe and Vermillion streets will convert from one-way to two-way traffic, which involves installing new traffic lights.
The beautification features corner bumpouts, period street LED lighting, embedded brick crosswalks, coal cart planters and hanging planters, wayfinding signs and the addition of benches and garbage cans, among other features.
Work must be completed within two years, and City Manager Scot Wrighton said he hopes most, or all of it, can be completed within a year by the fall of 2019.
He said it was important for council members to finalize details Tuesday, so projects can go out to bid over the winter months and be ready for construction when the weather gets warmer.
Council members agreed to continue the hanging planter baskets from light poles as it is on the 300 block of East Main Street and opted for keeping the herringbone pattern started in the bumpouts utilizing recycled brick.
Giving the downtown a signature characteristic, cobalt blue ceramic and glass bricks created by Gavin Finefield of Finefield Pottery in Streator will be placed every 5 feet in the middle of the ribbon.
Wrighton said the blue was selected to match the color in Streator's seal and noted blue was one of the colors of the cullet pile at Owens-Glass factory.
Converting Vermillion and Monroe to two-way streets may take longer than the other projects, because the traffic signal work will be bid separately. Wrighton said officials didn't want to slow down other aspects of the beautification project while going through what will be a more detailed process in bidding out the traffic signal work.