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The announcement this week that the city of Vandalia will be receiving $150,000 to do preliminary engineering work on a project to improve Sunset Drive was welcome news.
It allows the city to continue improving its major arterial streets and, when completed, it will add a sidewalk along that busy street to keep pedestrians safer.
State Sen. Kyle McCarter announced the grant at a news conference Tuesday morning. He said that the money was reallocated from the unused portion of a $4-million grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation for a bypass in the Labanon area.
We appreciate McCarter’s efforts to secure the money for our local projects, and we applaud the city for being ready to accept such grants when they become available. The Sunset Drive improvement project, which is part of the city’s strategic plan, will include a concrete roadway, curb and guttering, and a sidewalk along the west side of the street.
Completing the engineering portion of the project will qualify it as a “shovel-ready” project – a designation that seems to elevate projects in the eyes of state officials when monies are available.
We’re thankful that this project has gained some momentum, and we look forward to securing funding for the actual construction. For the safety of pedestrians, Sunset – and several other streets in the western part of the city – need to have sidewalks.