Construction of the East Main Street underpass is the biggest road project scheduled to begin in Galesburg this year. But the city plans to tackle plenty of other projects too.
One of those other projects will add a traffic signal at the intersection of Broad Street and Carl Sandburg Drive. The city said it will be synced with a signal on Seminary Street and Home Blvd. to create a better traffic flow.
City Engineer Wayne Carl said at least 10,000 vehicles go through that intersection every day.
"We've probably had a 15% increase over the last year and a half, two years, in traffic on Carl Sandburg Drive," Carl said.
Some of this year's other road projects in Galesburg include:
- Reconstructing North Seminary Street between Fremont Street and the Bickerdyke Bridge
- Replacing the brick road on Jefferson Street between North and Losey Streets to concrete
- Replacing the brick road on Silver Street between East Main and Summit Streets to concrete
- Replacing the brick road on Whitesboro Street between East Main and North Streets to concrete
The cost of the street projects will be covered through a bond paid off with cash generated by the city's capital utility tax.
As for the biggest project, Carl said construction of the East Main Street underpass is scheduled to start in April. He said the project is scheduled to be finished in August 2018 -- and maybe even sooner.
"A lot of it has to do with train traffic, how busy the railroad is. And so, if they’re not running as many trains, then that means the contractor has more time to work on the project. And so we can get it done sooner," Carl said.
The city will establish detour routes once the East Main underpass project starts. Traffic from East Main Street will be re-routed to North and South Streets, both of which have underpasses already. Carl said Farnham Street will also be a detour for traffic to Losey or Fremont Streets. He said semi-trucks coming off Interstate 74 will be detoured to Route 34.
The East Main underpass will be the final of four grade separation projects that received funding assistance from the state. The other projects were overpasses on West Main Street and Seminary Street in Galesburg and on Illinois Route 41 between Galesburg and Abingdon.