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Macomb’s major road projects off to a good start

A crew at work on South Johnson Street at Harmony Lane on June 12, 2024.
Rich Egger
A crew at work on South Johnson Street at Harmony Lane on June 12, 2024.

Macomb is focusing on just two road projects this summer, and city leaders said work is already underway on both.

“Both Adams Street and Johnson Street are on schedule right now,” said City Administrator Scott Coker.

South Johnson Street is being re-done from Grant Street south to Harmony Lane, while West Adams Street is getting a makeover from North Johnson to Charles Street on the eastern edge of the Western Illinois University campus.

Coker said the goal is to substantially complete both projects before classes resume in August.

“There’ll be some peripheral seeding and minor dirt work after school starts. But the goal is before that,” he said.

The low bid for the Johnson Street work came in at $6.8 million, and the low bid for West Adams was $1.5 million.

That’s higher than estimated for both projects, but the city decided to proceed because both will be funded largely with grants that will soon expire, plus the cost of materials isn’t likely to get any cheaper.

Revenue from the city’s one-cent infrastructure sales tax will supplement the grant funding.

The South Johnson project is expected to improve the traffic flow through the area near the high school and new middle school. The street will be widened to include a center turn lane. A new storm sewer system will be installed along with curbs and gutters, and a multi-use path will be built on the east side of the street. The ditches will be removed.

In addition, the intersection of Johnson and Grant streets will be rebuilt.

The city said the work on West Adams will enhance the look of one of the corridors to WIU.

It will align with improvements the city made several years ago to the West Adams corridor from Lafayette to Johnson.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.