Wide range of options for Main and University upgrades

By Audrey Wise

September 25, 2013 Updated Sep 25, 2013 at 7:19 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- Several ideas are on the table to upgrade the intersection of Main and University Streets in Peoria, and the city wants your input as well.

Earlier this month, a water main broke at Main and University. It is one of Peoria's busiest intersections and also used by thousands of Bradley students.

A temporary fix is in place. Now city officials are looking at the permanent fix as an opportunity.

"It is extremely intense that intersection," said second district councilman Chuck Grayeb. "There have been some fatalities and injuries there and we need to take a look at what we can do to make it a safer more pedestrian friendly intersection."

Grayeb suggests they look at the whole area as they look to make improvements. He said it could be as simple as re-marking pavement, bigger sidewalks or new curb-cuts.

Peoria City Manager Patrick Urich said the city is looking at various design options, "I think that we are going to look at re-sizing the intersection traditionally. Looking at a roundabout is one potential option. Looking at possibly a raised intersection where that helps to calm the traffic."

Councilman Grayeb said the intersection is constricted by area businesses and won't be easy to widen.

"At the end of the day, we may conclude that we're going to leave it as it is," said Grayeb.

Illinois American Water plans to spend about $98,000 on the permanent repair. However, if the city decides to go further with the project, it may also be an opportunity for the water company to do more.

"This would be a great time if they get in and move to tear up the road even more that we can actually get in and invest in our infrastructure," said Illinois American Water spokeswoman Karen Cotton.

All those interested are invited to a public meeting to discuss the options and possibly come up with new ideas. It is Thursday night from 6 to 8 p.m. at Westlake Hall on Bradley's campus.

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