Paving the way to major changes to Peoria intersection

By Katherine Tellez

January 29, 2014 Updated Jan 29, 2014 at 11:52 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- A $2.6 million dollar project to make the intersection of Main and University more pedestrian friendly will start in a matter of weeks.

The project will cut traffic down to 3 lanes on University, one in each direction and a center turn lane, from Columbia Terrace to Moss avenue. With the potential of continuing that all the way to Jefferson in the future.
The intersection of Main and University also will be raised.

Surrounding neighborhoods will have traffic calming devices, such as traffic tables, to discourage drivers from cutting through.

A pedestrian button will stopping traffic in every direction for about 30 seconds while people cross.

Officials say the goal isn't to stop traffic from coming into the West Bluff but reeducate them that cutting through this area doesn't save time.

And they say safety is a main priority.

"You want your businesses to thrive and make it a destination for people to come. But part of that is making it so, if they can't park right in front of the restaurant they want to go to, that it's a safe experience for them to walk to that restaurant," said City Engineer Scott Reeise.

Water main construction is expected to start late February or early March.

That should take four weeks and all lanes will remain open.

For six weeks after -- the entire intersection will be closed for reconstruction.

It is expected to reopen by May 10th.