Marion Street to be extended in $804,000 project

By Gus Bode

The City of Carbondale plans to complete three road resurfacings and one road extension project, worth roughly $804,000, months before the March 2010 deadline.

Although the city received $774,253 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, it plans to use roughly $30,000 of its own money for the four road projects, Cole said. He said he told staff the projects would be done by November, but the Illinois Department of Transportation would have a large role in determining the exact dates.

‘ ‘The object is to get people working to create jobs,’ Cole said. ‘It doesn’t do any good to start planning and then put this thing out to bid next year.’


Cole said he hopes to have the bids out by June.

The stimulus money would pay for: the $274,000 extension of Marion Street; the $245,000 resurfacing of Wall Street from Mill Street to Park Street; and the $145,000 resurfacing of Oakland Avenue from Willow Street to Rigdon Street. The $140,000 resurfacing of Washington Street from its intersection with Walnut Street to its intersection with Mill Street would require $30,000 in local funds, according to a city document.

‘ ‘Marion Street is a project that we have been seeking funding for over the last several years and the extension is basically from College Street on the north to Mill Street on the south,’ Cole said. ‘This will be the eastern edge of the Police Department’s property.’

He said it would create an access point between College Street and Mill Street for the new

police station.

The city’s $30,000 contribution would come from a pool of funds designated for economic development in the downtown area, known as the Tax Increment Financing district, Cole said.

‘ ‘These are areas that our engineers determined needed some attention,’ Cole said. ‘What we have very deliberately done is not taken projects that are currently going to be funded by other means. What we’re doing is creating new jobs with new projects, specifically with the federal funding.’


Sedrick Collins, 32, of Carbondale, said he would be glad to see Carbondale’s roads improve, but the city should consider spending its money on its broken down sidewalks. Collins, who is originally from Chicago, said the roads in Carbondale are better than those in his hometown.

‘The sidewalks down here aren’t wide enough and some areas don’t have sidewalks,’ Collins said. ‘Unfortunately, I can’t keep spending money on shocks for my car and tires from hitting potholes.’

Debra Ward, 26, of Carbondale, said the potholes are her main concern in regards to road repair. She said Grand Avenue by the Towers is the worst.

‘I’ve lived here for three years and they get pretty bad,’ she said. ‘I get damage when my car goes through some of these potholes.’

Cole said the city is trying to set itself apart from the state by spending the money to create new jobs, as intended by the federal government, instead of funding existing programs.

Cole said the resurfacing projects would take roughly a week, which means traffic concerns are minimal.