Riverside officials will take another stab at obtaining grant funding through the state of Illinois to complete the third phase of a project to improve the streetscape in the village’s downtown.
On Oct. 6, village trustees voted unanimously to officially ratify the submission of an application seeking a $693,000 grant through the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) to fund 75 percent of the cost to improve 700 feet of streetscape on both sides of East Quincy Street east of Riverside Road with decorative brick paver sidewalks and 190 feet of streetscape on the east side of Riverside Road south of East Quincy Street with brick pavers, raised planting beds and new trees.
The estimated total cost for the improvements is about $924,000, leaving the village to fund the remaining 25 percent or $231,000.
Illinois is making $125 million in grant funding available through ITEP this year, with a maximum request of $3 million per project. ITEP grants are reimbursable, meaning municipalities must pay for the work up front.
The ITEP funds come from a combination of federal and state sources. The last time Illinois made ITEP grant funding available was in 2020. Riverside submitted a grant application at that time for the Quincy Street/Riverside Road streetscape project, but the village was not awarded one.
Since that time, the estimated cost of construction has gone up by 15 percent. The village estimated the total cost for the Quincy Street/Riverside Road work at $803,000 in 2020, with the village’s share of the cost coming around $161,000.
The state will review grant applications through the next six months and announce grant awards in spring 2023.
Riverside began making over the streetscape in its downtown business district in 2016, when the village used ITEP and a federal street improvement grant to overhaul the streetscape along East Burlington Street and Longcommon Road north of the tracks.
That was followed in 2019 by a streetscape improvement project along Riverside Road south of the railroad to East Quincy Street. That effort included making over the area immediately in front of the train station along Bloomingbank Road and creating a brick paver plaza area east of the train platform with bike racks and a large raised planting bed.