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Macomb Plans Facelift for Western Avenue

Rich Egger
Bus traffic has been especially hard on Western Avenue, which will be redone in concrete rather than asphalt.

The street that goes through the heart of the Western Illinois University is in poor condition right now. All the traffic -- especially from buses and trucks - has been tough on the asphalt road so the city plans to remake Western Avenue during the summer months.

"We feel strongly that we need to invest in that," said Mayor Mike Inman.  "Everyone should read plainly into that that the city is wholly investing into that corridor because we believe things are going to get better at the university."

The project will cover the stretch of Western Avenue from Adams Street to University Drive.  The street will be redone in concrete, which the city believes will help it hold up better, especially from bus traffic.

The city said the project is being done in conjunction with WIU, which wants the contractors to include a concrete conduit under the street to house electrical wires.

"They (the university) would like us to include that in our bid. They would reimburse us for that amount, which is estimated at $45,000," said City Administrator Dean Torreson.

The city hopes the project can begin around May 22 and be completed by August 11.

Macomb plans to complete three street repair projects this year. The other two are mill and overlay asphalt projects:

  • Wigwam Hollow Road from Jackson Street to Adams Street
  • White Street from Jackson Street to Piper Street

The city estimated it will cost about $1.1 million to complete all three projects.
Aldermen gave the administration permission to seek bids. Torreson hoped bids for the Wigwam Hollow Road and White Street projects will be ready for the city council to review on March 6 and the Western Avenue bids will be ready two weeks after that.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.