A yearly meeting of Rockford city leaders reminds us that traffic woes and construction noise has a purpose.
We complain all summer long, weaving in and out of orange cones, waking up to the sounds of heavy machinery and taking long detours.
This time of year, aldermen take many factors into account when planning the next year's worth of city projects.
"This is a community conversation."
Capital Improvement Plan. First, city leaders gather your opinions and tax dollars. Then they decide how those will best be used.
"Every large scale project we've done, we've gone directly to the community whether it was the river walk or the downtown streets cape or the Morgan Street Bridge," said Patrick Zuroske, CIP manager.
The end results are often worth the wait. In the meantime we deal with the construction.
"The city has a lot of need, the aldermen realize that," said Public Works Director Tim Hanson.
As the year wraps up, aldermen have the opportunity to make changes. They consider many factors. Which phases are each project in? How have those impacted the area in the past year?
From there, they adjust plans, make proposals and reset priorities.
"They need to come to a consensus on the way they want it to go and give staff direction," said Finance and Personnel Committee Chair Carl Wasco.
One prominent project is the West State Street corridor. Lengthy detours are gone. Patients can easily find Crusader Clinic and commuters make a B-line for downtown from the far west side for now.
Starting in early 2013 the entire street is going to be closed from roughly Kent Creek to Sunset.
Besides talking about the "Big Four" meaning the Main Street roundabout, West State corridor, Morgan Street Bridge and South Main project, city leaders also think they'll start constructing the new sports complex at Ingersoll in 2013.
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