Rockford`s West State Street reopens to cars - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford`s West State Street reopens to cars

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File photo November 14, 2012 File photo November 14, 2012
Photo from November 30, 2012 Photo from November 30, 2012
West State Street before the barricades came down. West State Street before the barricades came down.
ROCKFORD (WREX) -

Traffic flows again on Rockford's West State Street after a two month long construction project. The West State corridor is still waiting for a major road overhaul next year. But before that starts Rockford had to fix the sewer and water system there and that meant shutting down the street.

"It has been a big problem because this is a nerve center. I mean State Street is one of the heart streets of Rockford," says Richard Rafferty, Rockford resident.

Drivers, bikers and even walkers have had to find a new way to get to places like Crusader Clinic or just anywhere downtown.  But Rockford's Public Works director says the hassle was necessary.

"There's water mains that are underneath those roads that are 100 years old and this is a good time now to go in and change that all out before you put a new road in there. So we go in and do the water work and the sewer work and whatever kind of work we have to do under ground.  Then they'll resurface and we won't have to touch that area for the next 20 to 30 years," says Tim Hanson.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will come in next year to fix West State from Sunset Avenue to Kent Creek. And that's not the only construction project that will hit the Rockford downtown next year.

"ComEd has work that is going on right near State Street off of Avon where they are going to go in and remediate hazardous waste that's in that little area. You'll have the South Main Corridor that is going to be under construction. You will have the West State Street project going on at the same time. It's not over, it's just the beginning," says Hanson.

West State reconstruction work starts in June and could run two years.

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