MARSHALL, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) — Progress is being made in downtown Marshall as construction is underway for the final planned phase of the city’s ‘Streetscapes Project.’

Mayor, John Hasten, said, the project began back in 2017 and was initially approved as a three-phase project.

“The first phase was along Archer Ave. The decorative light posts that are there. The sidewalks were all laid as a part of that. The second phase was off of Archer Ave. one block along Pine Street. Same kind of thing. Lights, sidewalks, spruced up all of what was going on there,” he said.

Now in phase three of the project, Hasten said it’s been a long time coming. Covid came, prices went up.

“We had to re-bid it. We had to change it a little bit. Finally, we’re started. Redoing the sidewalks around the north side of Archer Ave, adding the decorative lights which gives it a quaint atmosphere. And we are also adding a sewer separation project where we’re getting storm sewer water out of town a little faster to the west to make it better when the stormy season comes in,” he said.

Paige Bender, a lifetime resident of Marshall and who works downtown at Tatum’s Boutique, said, “I’m very fortunate to live in a community that still puts money into their community. Keeping it beautiful and safe for people who are living here and tourists that come in and visit.”

The project is funded in part with state grant dollars. Mayor Hasten said it’s an opportunity to spruce up downtown, “Give it some personality, make it a way or a place that people want to come to.”

And local businesses agree, like Sara Tarble, owner of Gypsy Queen Coffee. She said the work is a nice reflection of the town.

“It shows that we care what it looks like. We want people to come to Marshall, have a great experience, we just love the hometown atmosphere and part of that is keeping up on the aesthetics,” she said.

“We want to enhance business in downtown Marshall,” Hasten said. “Downtown Marshall is a great looking little downtown. We have been very fortunate that in maintain the integrity of the buildings, to keep the downtown the quaint little place that I grew up in.”

“Keeping that little bit of old-world charm and a little bit of history with our town too,” Bender added.

A Marshall Street in the spirit of Halloween

Mayor Hasten said a neighbor on 8th Street got her neighbors together to decorate in the spirit of Halloween. Pumpkins can be seen dangling from the trees lining the road.

A walk or drive down 8th Street is a site to see. Neighbors hope to bring a smile to other people’s faces.

Hasten told WTWO that the pumpkin-lined street is really magical at night.