Busy Peoria intersection set for reconstruction - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Busy Peoria intersection set for reconstruction

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A busy Peoria intersection is getting a makeover within the next month.

City and County officials will split an estimated 2.2 Million dollar bill for the reconstruction of the 4-way intersection at Allen Road and Willow Knolls Drive.

City officials say roughly 32,000 vehicles make their way through that intersection everyday, making it one of the busiest in the city.

The plan to update the intersection and begin reconstruction was originally set for 2021, but one of the lead engineers on the project, Bill Lewis said it simply couldn't wait that long. 

"It's been moved up because the road conditions have been so bad." Lewis explained during a public meeting Wednesday evening. 

That meeting, held at the Knights of Columbus in Peoria, served as an open forum for the public to learn about all the anticipated changes and ask any questions they had.

Just a month prior, the public gathered to give their input on proposed designs. There, three options for update were presented. One of those suggestions, included a large roundabout. But the idea didn't go over well.

Many nearby residents complained of the increased cost and expressed concern that an intersection of that magnitude would need more than a roundabout to regulate traffic.

In the time between that meeting and the one on Thursday, 1,300 surveys were disseminated, requesting feedback. Wednesday's public meeting revealed the results of their input. 

Lewis added that the city also did their due diligence to understand how the construction would impact the area.

"We've met with all the businesses in the area, one on one with them and heard their feedback and how the construction would affect their business. " he assured.

The concrete plan that's been agreed on includes three lanes in each direction on Willow Knolls Drive, two medians being removed  on the north and east sides of the intersection, a 5-foot sidewalk and 10 foot bike path.

The new design promises to improve access to local businesses, improve access for pedestrians and bicycles, reduce left lane crashes - there are about 32 per year- and also improve the mobility throughout the entire intersection.

Feedback on the changes were positive, with 70% of the public in favor of the updates.

Lewis estimates the entire project will be finished by Fall of 2018.

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