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More than $500,000 will be spent to upgrade and improve Escalante's Main Street.

City officials said the Utah Department of Transportation will spend $400,000 on the Main Street improvements because it is a state highway and Escalante will provide $110,000.State funds will go toward widening the street to four lanes and installing nine blocks of curb and gutter. The city's funds will pay for a drainage system.

The Main Street project will extend from the municipal park to the Escalante Elementary School, according to City Councilman Gerald Barney. He said the drainage system will alleviate flooding when substantial amounts of moisture occur.

Also, funding from other sources will pay for street improvements throughout the city.

Escalante received a $122,000 grant from the Utah Community Impact Board that will be used to resurface other city streets. Those that sometimes become muddy will get a double chip seal. A single chip seal is planned on streets where better conditions exist.

In addition to the grant, $61,000 in Class C Road funds will be used for the streets project. That money comes from the state through gasoline tax funds.

City officials hope to obtain additional funding through the Soil Conservation Service to help pay for the drainage phase of the improvement project on Main Street.

Ironically, drought plagued the community for several years before recent storms caused streets to become clogged with mud.

Springs that supply culinary water virtually dried up during the drought years, so a deep well was drilled and a 500,000 storage tank constructed. This water source will be used as a backup supply when needed, Barney said.