Local officials unveil plans for intersection improvements

By WEEK Reporter

February 22, 2012 Updated Feb 22, 2012 at 5:55 PM CDT

If you're reading this, it's pretty likely you have finished your evening commute home. For residents in North Peoria, it is a trip that, recently, has caused more headaches and safety issues on one stretch of road.

Tuesday night, local officials unveiled a plan they say will fix the problem and, they add, the work likely won't stop there.

Wells Wildenradt says in 20 years not much has changed about his North Peoria home...except for the scenery surrounding it.

"In the last five years, well you can see, it's a madhouse, plain and simple," said Wildenradt.

He says what used to be a quiet country four way stop, at the intersection of Allen and Alta Roads is now the centerpiece of a regular mini-traffic jam.

"We get people 24/7 turning around in the driveway, speeding up and down the streets, running the stop signs," said Wildenradt.

And it's a problem Peoria city leaders say they're working to fix.
So Tuesday night at Northwoods Church, which they say ironically produces much of the additional traffic, city leaders unveiled their plan for round-abouts.

Reactions were mixed.

"This is an awesome idea and long overdue for this community," said resident Bob Hultgren.

"Tonight's whole presentation by the city of Peoria was an attempt to sell round-abouts and sell round-abouts where a round-about isn't needed," said resident Tom Reams.

City leaders say this will be one of a handful along North Allen road getting a makeover. Work is set to begin later this year.

The total cost is between $20 million and $22 million. Growing pains, officials say, in the city's fastest growing district.

"We're trying to make it safer. We're trying to make it more progressive, so we can get cars in and out faster and people experience less delays in traffic," said Peoria councilman Dan Irving.

Something Wildenradt acknowledges.

"Progress is progress. There's nothing we can do about that. We've just got to deal with it," he said.

Whatever it takes, he says, to get people home safely.