IDOT Temporarily Halts Construction in Morton

Morton Pumpkin Festival

By WEEK Reporter
By Denise Jackson

September 14, 2010 Updated Sep 14, 2010 at 8:22 PM CDT

Driving in and around downtown Morton and other places feel like going through an obstacle course with several construction projects underway.
This week the village gears up for the annual Pumpkin Festival.
But despite the work access should be a little easier for the hundreds of visitors.

Orange is not just the color of pumpkins in Morton this week, but also for several construction workers resurfacing streets and making sidewalk improvements along Jackson, a main thoroughfare.

"This is the real hotspot here as far as construction work in this area. So we do know how busy it does get around here. You see a lot of the cones and barrels now, we'll do our best to move most of those aside," said Illinois Department of Transportation Spokesman Brian Williamsen.

Williamsen says the Illinois Transportation Department will suspend its work Tuesday evening so that visitors coming to the annual Pumpkin festival will have easier access into the village this week.

An estimated 70-thousand people attend the pumpkin festival each year. And with that much attendance coordinators say safety of both participants and construction workers is important.
IDOT says lanes currently closed will reopen, signs stopping traffic will temporarily come down and driving for festival goers should be easier.

"That's always our number one issue for the festival is safety and that is certainly the number one thing that we're concerned about with the construction," said Pumpkin Festival Coordinator Jennifer Daly.

One Morton resident agrees, saying getting through it takes some time.

"It's better than having the construction going on during the Pumpkin Festival just because there's already so much traffic and detours downtown on Main Street and that would just add to it," said Cathy Smith.

But the road work will resume, construction crews will return to work on Monday.

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