The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has made changes to their original plans for the re-construction of Illinois Route 8 from Summit Drive to School Street in Washington, which is scheduled to start this coming spring.

 

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has made changes to their original plans for the re-construction of Illinois Route 8 from Summit Drive to School Street in Washington, which is scheduled to start this coming spring.

The original design called for concrete medians to be installed. After receiving a request from the Sunnyland Business Association and Tazewell County Board Member John C. Ackerman, and after reviewing the proposed changes with the City of Washington, IDOT decided to alter the plans to make the new proposed medians similar to the current medians located between Summit Drive and Sunrise Avenue.

The new proposed medians have been redesigned to make them landscaped medians with trees and grass rather than concrete. They have also been altered to include curb cuts for pedestrian access and refuge through the raised medians to improve pedestrian safety.

County Board Member Ackerman said "the new changes will make the project more aesthetically pleasing and increase the safety for pedestrian traffic, which is alrea dy high along this stretch of Illinois Route 8." He continued "the current medians installed along the road have been a complete success and it is nice that IDOT decided to continue this successful construction style going forward with this project."

Kathy Perhay, the President of the Sunnyland Business Association, said "I am just pleased to hear about the increase of more green space rather than concrete, as I feel everyone in the community will be pleased with these changes."

Back in 2008, Perhay and Ackerman worked through East Peoria Street Superintendent Ric Semonski and the Illinois Department of Transportation Project Engineer Maureen Addis to get the current medians from Summit Drive to Sunrise Avenue added to the design back then. They were installed as part of that stage of construction.

Perhay and Ackerman both praised the easy working relationship and cooperation they experienced with the Illinois De partment of Transportation and the Project Engineers Maureen Addis and Michael Lewis.

The Sunnyland Business Association is collecting funds for more trees and further improvements to the current medians as well as these new future medians. Anyone wishing to donate for the continued upkeep of the medians can send them to:

Tony and Sons, Inc
Attn: Kathy Perhay
3508 East Washington Street
East Peoria, Illinois  61611

This stage of construction, from Summit Drive to Business 24 in Washington, is the final phase of the reconstruction of Illinois Route 8. Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring and should be completed in the fall of 2013.

In another project related announcement, plans have been made to attempt to save an old Blue Spruce tree that is growing in the project construction area. The giant old tree is located in front of 2260 Washington Road near the western edge of Rolling Me adows North subdivision. IDOT has made arrangements to work around the tree in an attempt to save it.