The city is completing land acquisitions as part of the plan to improve West Adams Street from Lafayette to Johnson.
“That whole (renovation) project is set to start this spring. As a matter of fact, we’d like to be starting the bid process sooner than later,” said Mayor Mike Inman, who added the goal is to complete the work by mid-August.
Many of the parcel purchases are for just a foot or two of land. The mayor said this will allow sidewalks to be widened. In addition, the street will be narrowed a bit.
The land purchases will also help ensure there is enough space for vehicles to make turns at the Adams Street intersections with McArthur and Johnson. Parking will not be allowed on the south side of the street in the 200 block of Adams, next to Project Insight.
One of the highlights of the project is the addition of a median at Adams and Lafayette – with funding assistance from Western Illinois University.
“That will be a decorative median that will be consistent with the median across from Corbin-Olson Hall (on the WIU campus),” said Inman.
He said it will have brick pavers, a metal fence, and some plants. It will also include a brick column, which is a signature decorative element at gateways to the WIU campus.
The estimated cost of the two block renovation project is $900,000. The city originally hoped to renovate a four block stretch but was turned down three times for enhancement grants from the Illinois Department of Transportation.
“Two blocks is all we can bite off now and we’ll work to find funding for the other two blocks in other ways,” said Inman.