Peoria residents say they feel trapped due to construction projects

By Beau Ebenezer

May 7, 2013 Updated May 8, 2013 at 10:20 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Peoria resident Harold Maloney says he was in shock when he read the headline on his newspaper about another key road closure for his North Peoria neighborhood.

"It's bad now and it's going to get worse," said Maloney. "We just don't have any other options of getting in or out of this neighborhood to Peoria and back, so we're lost."

Maloney received the news last week that the Pottstown Bridge will be closed over the next year. Construction is not slated to begin until June of 2014.

Now, Maloney and many others' second means of getting to Peoria and back, the I-474 west ramps, is closing until October. The Illinois Department of Transportation says the closure is necessary to replace a bridge deck.

"It's going to take me a longer time now to get out to Willow Knolls and Allen Road where I work at," said another Peoria resident, James Smalley. "They don't let anyone know about this. It's going to be a mess all summer. People aren't going to be able to travel the roads like they are supposed to."

Residents' last means of transportation, now, is to take Farmington Road, off of Kickapoo Creek Road, which has become a bottleneck.

Residents are keen on adding a stop light or four way stop sign at the intersection to help the flow of traffic and prevent the amount of accidents.

They said they are in the process of reaching out to local legislators to make that happen.

Until then, Maloney, and his neighbors may see an increased commute of up to a half an hour this summer.