The Town of Eaton has received a grant through the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) Revitalizing Main Streets Program to improve First Street in downtown Eaton. The grant is for $1.15 million and was applied for with input from the Eaton Hometown Revitalization Committee and based on survey results from residents and community members.
The CDOT Revitalizing Main Streets Program began as part of the State of Colorado’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan. It was designed to help communities fund transportation-related projects that can improve safety and provide long-term benefits to local community main streets. The Town of Eaton received a Larger Safety Infrastructure Grant meant to improve safety, especially for vulnerable populations, in downtown areas.
The goals for the grant were decided in part based on survey results the Town and Hometown Revitalization Committee collected in the summer of 2021. The three main goals include clearly defined downtown entrances, ensuring the town preserves the unique small-town character, and creating a safe and inclusive pedestrian experience by updating walkability and visual appeal. Other identified goals are to fill vacant storefronts, build tourism, retain and expand existing businesses, and enhance the events and identity of downtown Eaton.
Improvements will include new benches in downtown to improve walkability along with nine new light poles to increase the safety of pedestrians while enhancing visibility. Other features include four new community murals and banners attached to light poles and gateway features to enhance the identity of the downtown while building character. Residents can also expect more planters and hanging flower baskets along the street. Consideration is also being given to crosswalk options to provide safer pathways for pedestrians while also being designed to reflect Eaton’s unique character.
Eaton Assistant Town Administrator, Greg Brinck commented on the grant, “We are excited to see years of hard work and planning come to fruition in a much shorter time frame than was initially expected. Eaton will have a beautiful downtown that the community will be proud of!”
Construction is scheduled for spring 2023.