A gift from mother nature, Rockford's Public Works Department has been blessed with good weather allowing them to check big projects off of 2015 to-do list. One of those is the renovation of South Main Street.
The City of Rockford says construction on South Main Street, from Chestnut to Kent Street, has been going on since this summer. This section has been blocked off for drivers.
The businesses on this S. Main are feeling the drawbacks of getting a whole new street.
Ezra Allen, Barber at Javon Barber Shop, says he hasn't had many walk-in appointments since the sidewalk is closed. Being at the corner of South Main and Kent Street for 16 years, the last few years have been hard with the constant construction outside his doors.
Allen states, "A lot of people can't get here. They don't really understand how to get around all this construction and come in through the back way."
Director of Public Works at the City of Rockford, Tim Hanson, knows construction is never ideal for businesses.
Hanson says, "Anytime you have construction on a street it does hurt the businesses."
According to Hanson, work has fallen behind schedule because of how old the street is and the pipes underneath it. Usually construction projects stop at the end of November because that's when the ground freezes. But not this year.
"It's going to be spring time for another week I think," Hanson adds, "thank goodness for that!"
Rockford's gotten a gift from Mother Nature allowing the project to continue well into this month.
"They are going to do some last minute things that they have to finish up, like stripe the street." Hanson explains, "We should have it open by the 21st of December, which is unheard in construction."
Instead of being closed all holiday season South Main will reopen from Chestnut to Kent Street. Giving Allen and other small businesses something to look forward to.
Allen says, "It will be beneficial when it opens up for me and my customers."
"They'll see the new lighting, the multi-purpose path and the new sidewalks." Hanson reveals, "It's just a whole lot of amenities that are good for everybody that lives in this area and anyone else who wants to visit this area."
After the December 21, the only construction on South Main will be from Kent to Montaque Street. But you will be able to travel up and down the South Main without any closures.