ROCKFORD (WIFR) – What has seemed like an endless project on West State Street is underway for another construction season and for drivers, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Crews are hard at work now to make sure the road is cone free by the end of 2014.
Shelton Kay’s walk to work is a bit tricky since for the last two years he’s had to dodge orange cones on his way to the office at Crusader Clinic.
“For me the biggest challenge was finding an accessible route with a sidewalk, but luckily they’ve put those in.”
More permanent sidewalks will go in this summer along West State Street along with other finishing touches from the Illinois Department of Transportation.
“We will complete sidewalks and the multi-use path that runs along the north side of the road and we will be working on landscaping late in the year and the lighting will be complete,” said IDOT engineer Dave Biddix.
That’s welcome news for Kay, as he’s seen how the project has kept some patients away from the services at Crusader.
“I’ve heard stories of people who have turned around and couldn’t get here because the usual streets they took were blocked.”
Jefferson Street west of Kilburn is one street that’s been blocked for months. It will reopen by the end of the year. Kay says while the roadwork has been a headache, he sees a light at the end of the tunnel for his neighborhood.
“Things are finally improving here, things are on the upswing, we don’t necessarily feel left behind as the city forges east and ignores the west. It has finally showed some emphasis on improving the west side.”
Central Avenue between West State Street and Elm Street is also closed now for repair work. That should reopen in July.