In just two days, a multi-million dollar project shuts down parts of Rockford's West State and Mulberry Streets. There are small sections of road, but closing them could have a big impact.
We're talking about a mile-long stretch on West State Street from Kilburn Avenue to Stewart Avenue and a quarter-mile piece of Mulberry Street from Avon Street to Kilburn Avenue. City leaders say the end result is a dream come true.
"It's going to be a very nice amenity to the West side, it's well-needed, well-deserved." -says City of Rockford Public Works Director Tim Hanson.
But, it's a nightmare for the owner of Almart Supermarket located less than a half-mile west of Stewart Avenue. This man didn't want to give his name, but says these road projects inconvenience his customers and are killing his business. The six-year grocery store owner gives himself two or three months to stay in business once construction starts and that's after laying off employees, but Hanson says improvements will add to the area.
"You'll have a multi-use path, you'll have new streetlights plus you're going to have landscaping that's going to look very nice up along that area."
The Illinois Department of Transportation has approved detours to help you move through that area, but you can help too by driving carefully.
"Be safe through these work zones, being in the middle of construction season or at the beginning of it make sure you're going slower make sure you're aware of construction people out on the streets. Safety is number one." -Hanson adds.
Construction should finish by late November, but Hanson says this is just Phase One of two projects totaling $20 million. The second part will fix up West State from Sunset Avenue to Day Avenue, near Pierpont.
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