By Jack Flynn
U.S. Congressman Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield announced $1.6 million in funding Monday for improvements in the Quadrangle--Matoon Street historic district.
The funding will allow planting of trees, construction of new sidewalks, street resurfacing and installation of antique street lights on Edwards, Elliot and Spring streets, according to Neal, who said the latest allotment brings the total spent for improvements along the State Street corridor to $200 million.
"The Quadrangle is everybody's neighborhood," Neal said during a news conference at the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History.
Construction -- which will include sewer improvements by the city -- will begin later this summer; the project will be completed by the end of next summer, Neal said.
Attending the event were the Most Rev. Timothy J. McDonnell, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Historical Commission member Robert S. McCarroll, among other officials.
Neal said he secured funding for the project from the federal Department of Transportation six years ago, but construction was delayed to allow for completion of other projects along the State Street corridor, including the new federal courthouse at 300 State St. and the backup state data center at the site of the former Classical High School, scheduled to open in October.
The state will provide 20 percent of the $1.6 million for street improvements, with the federal government providing the rest, Neal said.