Funding Set for Downtown Bricks

Rushville, IL – All the funding is now in place for reconstructing the brick streets in downtown Rushville.

The state will provide the final bit of money with an $832,000 grant. The grant is part of the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP), which funnels federal funds for the development of alternative transportation and the preservation of visual and cultural resources.

The money will be added to $950,000 in grant funding the city received earlier. The latest grant and an earlier $800,000 federal grant require an 80-20 match, so the city will also chip in some funding for the project. The city might cover its share through a multi-year financing plan using TIF district money.

Mayor Scott Thompson says work is clearly needed on the square.

"It's been beaten up over the past 100 years and I don't think there's anybody who would deny the fact that this will make a difference in the appearance of the square and hopefully in the appeal of the square to visitors," says Thompson.

Thompson says the city will meet with engineers next week to go over the final details of the project.

The plan is to fix the road bed and put the old bricks back on top. There will be concrete parking lanes, the sidewalks will be ADA compliant, and the city hopes to add period lighting to the square. The city will also re-do water lines on the square.

The estimated cost of the work is at least $1.7 million. The city will have a better idea of the price tag once the bids come in.

Thompson says bids could be let in March. Construction should begin soon afterward. He says the renovation work should be complete by the end of 2010 or early in 2011.

Thompson believes the square will look "unbelievable." He says as the project progresses, the city will be at work on a marketing plan for the square.