Warehouse District construction progressing steadily

By WEEK Producer

March 28, 2013 Updated Mar 28, 2013 at 11:02 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Spring is here and that can mean headaches for motorists.

As construction season begins, one of downtown Peoria's biggest project, the revamping Warehouse District is already underway, reducing the lanes of Washington Street from six to four.

When it is all said and done, the entire Warehouse District will have new storm and sewer drains, sidewalks, landscaping and other cosmetic additions to ultimately make for a more attractive downtown.

"We've got a very responsive contractor, we've got very responsive engineers down there. We're trying to keep the lines of communication open with the public through websites, individual phone calls, and newsletters," said Peoria Interim Public Works Director Jeff Smith.

With construction comes traffic backups and detours that can get congested.

Police say while driving through construction zones to keep your hands off your phone and on the wheel. That's because in Illinois, it is illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving through a construction zone, if you are caught you will get ticketed.

Peoria police say whenever you drive through a construction zone, it's always important to stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.

"We do want you to be careful when driving through these areas because they are barrel led but there are no barriers to stopping you from falling into those holes they have dug up," said Peoria Police Lt. Steve Roegge.

Officials say they expect the updated Warehouse District to be completed by early 2014.