Burlington awarded federal grant for riverfront and downtown improvements

BURLINGTON, Iowa (KWQC) -- The city of Burlington was awarded a 17 million dollar grant, which focusses on transportation and economic recovery projects.

"So, it's about different transportation modes, it's also about dealing with our stormwater, which is a big issue for the city of Burlington, and it's about creating a community gathering space in our downtown which is revitalizing and seeing a lot of new development," said Charlie Nichols, the Planning Director for the city of Burlington.

Burlington city leaders say it will help fund upgrades to the riverfront, such as building more green spaces and boat docks.

Residents say they are looking forward to seeing riverfront improvements.

"You know they started things several years ago that many of us have enjoyed and to see the river become an even more of an attraction, is really exciting for us," said Peggy Stott, a Burlington resident.

Plans also include upgrades to Jefferson Street with more development focussed on Main Street, such as resurfacing, sidewalk expansion, upgrading street lights, and adding more lighting downtown.

"And with this, we have about 50 thousand for bike racks so we can install 50 more bike racks in the downtown," said Nichols.

Local businesses are also looking forward to seeing more traffic downtown.

"With this new facelift this new look to our downtown area, I think it will increase business, it'll encourage more people to open businesses here and get more people to come into the area," said Lauri Dunn, general manager of Original Cyns and CSky Boutique.

Nichols says the city is also working on ways to improve dealing with its stormwater. One of the projects currently underway is the building of a flood wall to help prevent flooding from coming into the downtown.