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Major Improvements Coming to River City Roadways

by Lisa Coon | Photos By Ron Johnson |
2022-10_hdr_0005_06_roadway-improvements

City residents will soon get a reprieve from road construction and repairs, but many projects remain ongoing or in the design stage.

One such involves a major conversion of Jefferson Avenue and Adams Street in Peoria from one-way to two-way streets. 

“We’re hoping it will slow down traffic and drive business to downtown,” said Andrea Klopfenstein, deputy director of the Peoria Public Works Engineering Division. “Also, one-way streets lead to increased speeds, pedestrian barriers and hinder access to property.” 

To convert Jefferson and Adams to two-way streets will cost $16 million. The work will include mill and overlay and converting eight intersections, with their traffic signals replaced by overhead lights. A total of 13 intersections will be fitted with new signals and improved pedestrian access with ramps, sidewalks and bump-outs. Curb cuts on the corners will be changed and new streetlights will be put in to accommodate the lane changes. 

“The conversion will give that stretch more of a downtown feeling than that of a thoroughfare,” Klopfenstein said. “It will be a little more inviting to be a pedestrian moving around the area.” 

Construction will begin in 2023 and run through 2025, she said. 

The city is coordinating the project with the Illinois Department of Transportation, as its shutdown for renovating the Bob Michel Bridge will impact the intersection at Kumpf Boulevard. 

Glen Avenue 

City and Peoria County work on Glen Avenue includes reconstruction between Sheridan Road and Knoxville Avenue. Klopfenstein said construction will wrap up next year, at which point that stretch of Glen Avenue, now under Peoria County ownership, will become a city road.  

The most notable change is the elimination of ditches that line both sides of the road. Underground pipes will be added for rainwater to flow into, eliminating the steep drop-off. 

A second project on Glen Avenue involves resurfacing the road between University Street and War Memorial Drive, doing some minor storm sewer work, and improving traffic signals at two intersections. 

“This has been on the books for a long time, so we’re glad to get started,” Klopfenstein said.  

While there is a contractor for the University to War Memorial Drive project, difficulty in getting some of the needed material is delaying work until next year, with completion expected by year’s end, 2024. 

The total cost for both projects is $13.5 million.  

Western Avenue  

The two-year project on Western Avenue running from Adams Street to Lincoln Avenue is expected to be completed this year with landscaping and punch list items wrapped up next year, Klopfenstein said. 

The $14.8 million project includes full reconstruction, sidewalks, lighting, native landscaping and bike lanes. 

Laramie Street 

Reconstructing Laramie Street in South Peoria is another project on the city’s wish list, Klopfenstein said. 

“We’ve asked the state for $6.6 million in funding and we’re waiting to hear,” she said. “Once we figure out how much funding we get, we’ll be looking at what the best improvements are for the funding we have.” 

Wisconsin Avenue 

This reconstruction project along Wisconsin Avenue is split into two pieces – McClure to Nebraska and Forrest Hill to McClure, Klopfenstein said. 

“McClure to Nebraska will be first in 2024-2025 at a project cost of $7.8 million, followed by Forrest Hill to McClure in 2026-2027 for an estimate of $6.4 million,” she said.  

The Forrest Hill to McClure piece is more challenging. 

“We’re trying to figure out how to fit in what we need in that tight area,” she said. 

A walk audit of that section determined the need for curb improvements for heavy bike and pedestrian traffic. 

Rock Island Greenway bike path 

Work on extending the bike path between Harvard and Park avenues to connect into the existing Rock Island Trail was just completed at a cost of $1.7 million. 

“It seems to be used quite a bit,” Klopfenstein said. “We’re working on the next piece – trying to build all the way to the river. We have about $1 million for that phase, which will go from Park to Abington Street, but we’re in the very early stage.”

Regional Infrastructure Update

As the 2022 road construction season nears an end, here’s a look at the status of many regional projects

PINECREST DRIVE at INTERSTATE 74 NEAR EAST PEORIA

  • Scope: Work included replacing the east side of the bridge over I-74
  • Project cost: $9.6 million
  • Status: Completed 

I-474 FROM THE ILLINOIS RIVER TO I-74

  • Scope: Resurfacing including ramps at Adams Street, Airport and Maxwell roads; repairs and bridge deck overlays to various structures
  • Project cost: $20.9 million
  • Status: Work began in July 2021 and will be completed by late November
  • Traffic impact: Lane reductions and ramp closures with detours 

I-74 FROM MORTON TO GOODFIELD

  • Scope: Painting, overlay bridge repairs, joint and bearing replacement, retaining wall and substructure repair. Collateral work on the bridge carrying Washington Road over I-74
  • Project cost: $4.9 million
  • Status: With work beginning in Spring 2021, 99% of the project is now complete with guardrail construction ongoing
  • Traffic impact: Lane reductions in both directions 

I-74 & I-474 & ILLINOIS 6 INTERCHANGE

  • Scope: Structural repairs and bridge deck overlay
  • Project cost: $4 million
  • Status: Completed 

MCNAUGHTON BRIDGE OVER THE ILLINOIS RIVER IN PEKIN

  • Scope: Bridge rehabilitation, joint replacement and deck repair
  • Project cost: $4.9 million
  • Status: 99% of work complete on project begun in Spring 2021
  • Traffic impact: Minor 

ILLINOIS ROUTE 8 STRUCTURES: NIXON RUN, WARSAW CREEK, KICKAPOO CREEK TRIBUTARY

  • Scope: Structural overlay and joint repairs 
  • Project cost: $990,000
  • Status: Complete 

U.S. ROUTE 24 ONE MILE WEST OF MAPLETON

  • Scope: Superstructure replacement
  • Project cost: $1.6 million
  • Status: Completion expected in October for project started in April 2022
  • Traffic Impact: Traffic reduced to one lane in each direction 

I-74 FROM EAST OF MORTON TO WOODFORD COUNTY LINE

  • Scope: Resurfacing
  • Project cost: $11.3 million
  • Status: Completion in November for project begun in April 2022
  • Traffic impact: Possible traffic reduced to one lane in each direction 

BROADWAY ROAD FROM VETERANS DRIVE TO SPRINGFIELD ROAD IN PEKIN

  • Scope: Resurfacing and drainage improvements
  • Project cost: $5 million Status: Project began in March 2022, to be finished in Summer 2023 Traffic impact: Detours are posted 

COURTLAND STREET FROM WALTON AVENUE TO MAIN STREET IN MORTON

  • Scope: Reconstruction and widening
  • Project cost: $2.5 million
  • Status: Completion in November following start in May 2022
  • Traffic impact: Detours for closures posted as needed
Lisa Coon

Lisa Coon

is a Peoria native who had a long career in the newspaper industry before moving into marketing and communications.  
CEFCU Wealth Management

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