On Thursday, proposed intersection improvements at Perryville Road and the Crimson Ridge were announced. It’s been a dangerous intersection for years but that's all about to change.
"A main component of the traffic signals here at Perryville and Crimson Ridge will be the relocation of Garrett Lane northerly to tie into Perryville Road and Crimson Ridge intersection," says Winnebago County Engineer Joe Vanderwerff.
Temporary traffic lights will be installed this fall and the estimated million dollar project is expected to be completed next year.
"We never wanted to put a lot of lights on Perryville, but it became apparent with the development that's going on including residential, assisted living housing, that a safer intersection had to be developed," says Winnebago County Board Member Chris Johnson.
President of Grunos Jewlers, Brent Meade, says the project will correct a traffic problem that will benefit the entire neighborhood. "The ease at which someone can come from a shopping area is very important. I think it will continue to help Gruno's grow and be a very important part of this community," says Meade.
"We have now a great Rockford firm in Whitehead real estate right now, they're completing a new building. We have assisted living, Fox Chase, another road that runs north/south, behind here...so it's going to open up that much more for commercial development. This corridor is really an economic engine, so we're going to keep feeding it," says Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen.
The improvements will also assist with the continued growth of Midway Village--the museum is planning to eventually add an additional entrance off of Garret Lane.
"It's part of master planning. The board of directors and staff has indicated that having access to Perryville Road is important to museums future, so we're happy to be a part of this," says Midway Village President David Burns.
Local leaders are hoping Rockford will become a regional shopping destination and infrastructure improvements like this, they say, will only foster increased development.
The city and county are splitting the cost of the one million dollar project. The county, city, Midway Village and the Rockford Park District all worked together on the project.