Peoria Riverfront construction plans officially decided - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Peoria Riverfront construction plans officially decided

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PEORIA, Ill. (WEEK) -

More green space is on the way to Peoria's Riverfront.


The city has officially decided on how to re-purpose the area now under construction.

Headaches, inconvenience and all the working around that's typically associated with an area undergoing construction are luckily not a part of the new plans.

Peoria 'City Engineer' Bill Lewis says public works crews have been busy tearing down the area by the riverfront, so that nearby businesses have no complaints.  "We started working from the Martini's parking lot, back to the East." he shared.


The Riverfront Market kicks off it's 15th year this Saturday and Lewis says demolition won't affect them. "We've gotten all that work out of the way so they can go ahead and function this weekend."


No doubt the area is a busy one though, home to several walks, outdoor festivals and even Spring Fling. Folks have strong opinions how the space should be used - saying specifically - no housing!


"It blocks off your view and there's not much to look at besides a building. If there's more green area, we have plants more and that's good for the environment." said Ali Eilers. Eilers frequents the Riverfront to enjoy the scenery and catch flea markets. 

Her wish is being granted. 


"As soon as we get the rest of the building down, and get that green space planted and grass growing in there, it will just be open area for anybody to use as the summer goes on." explained Lewis. 

And don't be fooled by the construction. Lewis says all the downtown riverfront activities will still certainly, go on as planned.

"Yeah things are carrying on as normal and we're working with those events for when the time comes to make sure that we're out of their way." he assured.

But more than convenience, Lewis explains safety is the city's biggest concern. The previous parking deck was in such terrible condition that things were falling from the ceiling

"We actually had scaffolding in place to temporarily support the rooftop so that it wouldn't cave in on people." he described. 


Lewis adds the green space acts as a blank slate until they decide what will be there for good.

City engineers say nothing will be built without public input.  

They're creating advisory boards in the near future, to make sure suggestions reflect what best serves everyone.

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