Morton street to undergo major widening project

By Mark Bullion

September 30, 2013 Updated Sep 30, 2013 at 7:03 PM CDT

MORTON, Ill. -- Traffic congestion in the Morton area near the Interstate 74 interchange has already been a headache for many motorists.

Now, the Village of Morton is taking on another construction project on one of its main roadways.

Eastbound Courtland Street from Morton Avenue to Walton Avenue will be closed to traffic until November 15 as crews work to widen the road.

The construction is causing major headaches for area restaurant owners.

"Having all the construction over the past few weeks has really slowed down the amount of business we've had over the past couple weeks and with the addition of the new construction, I'm really kind of interested to see what's going to happen," said Culver's Owner Tom McDonnell.

McDonnell said he understands the need for expansion and growth, but at the same time it puts his business in a tough spot.

"We're going to be losing one of the entrances to our restaurant," McDonnell said. "We have a restaurant that's already somewhat difficult to get into so losing one of the two entrances that we have is going to be detrimental to the business."

While business at Culver's and other nearby restaurants may decline, one Morton resident said it is a necessary evil.

"I think the growth Morton has experienced and East Peoria, it's kind of forced a lot more traffic through these areas. It certainly hasn't gotten any less and the way the system worked wasn't working the best, but also some of it is pretty aged, so if you have to change it, you might as well do it right," said Morton resident Bret Mccorkle.

Motorists are advised to use the marked detours and avoid the area unless necessary.