Three concepts have emerged thus far as Macomb considers possible changes to the look of its downtown square.
“(We’re) trying to eliminate some of that congestion, improve the traffic flow, make it visually more appealing so that it doesn’t feel so much like a Wal-Mart parking lot, so to speak,” said Jim Burke of Hutchison Engineering.
The Jacksonville-based firm was involved with recent downtown improvement projects in Jacksonville and Rushville.
The Macomb plans were shared during a public informational meeting. Burke said they are still displayed at City Hall, and comment forms are also available there. Burke said comments will be accepted until around May 15.
Burke said a lot of traffic moves through the square – it’s not just a destination. So Hutchison made traffic flow a priority. It also wanted to open up the square.
He said an improved visual appeal could be accomplished by using contrasting pavement types and raised islands with decorative planters. Raised islands would also be added on Jackson Street leading into the square from the east and west.
Burke said there is no cost estimate at this time. Firm decisions must be made on issues such as pavement materials, and it’s not known how much repair work might be required underneath the square.
It’s also possible the concepts could be changed or combined.