If you drive through Freeport to Pearl City, be prepared to detour. A big road construction project is coming to the area.
Even though federal funding was only announced yesterday, crews are already standing by.
The intersection of Pearl City Road and Kiwanis Drive has seen a sharp rise in traffic over the past decade. The urban sprawl brings more and more motorists over this pavement each year, increasing the odds of an accident.
"Probably the biggest point of contention has been the sight distance as well as the over elevation of existing curve where the intersection comes together. And so what the primary complaint has been, those turning or coming out onto the intersection being t-boned by oncoming traffic from Pearl City whether it's westbound or east bound," says Shaun Gallagher, Freeport's City Engineer
Leaders at Freeport's city hall discussed the project for more than two years. They considered a four way stop or traffic signals. But ultimately a roundabout won their support.
"We'd love to put in a signalized intersection, but it's an additional 200 or 300 thousand dollars that we don't have," says Gallagher.
A $1.35 million dollar grant from the state of Illinois will cover nearly the entire cost of the project, except for some engineering and surveying.
The promise of funding gave the city the green light it needed to move the project forward. Construction is scheduled to start on Tuesday. That's when the intersection will be completely closed to traffic. It will re-open on December 1st.
You will still be able to access the Heritage Woods assisted living facility and the Citizen's Bank building during construction.
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