A tale of two cities and two road projects


The City of Peoria recently completed — well, sorta — a road project on Forrest Hill between Sheridan Road and Knoxville. The road is being repaved with new drainage, etc.

Now, work isn’t exactly completed. They just stopped and reopened the road because they couldn’t do any more work during winter. Usually, these unfinished road projects just sit there through the winter, with lanes blocked. This time, they deigned to reopen the road for use until spring, when they will close it up again and finish it up.

And the city sent me at least four press releases, two before and two after it re-opened. I suppose we ought to be thankful the city kept us informed. It’s not like a couple of years ago, when the city closed virtually every east-west route in the city. A visit to the store that once took five minutes now took 30 minutes. So, this project only inconvenienced some of us for a few months, much better that before when virtually all of us were inconvenienced for a long time.

And then there is Sterling Avenue.

The project was started by the City of West Peoria and included repaving the road between Nebraska and Farmington Road.

Now, as a resident of the area, I was driven past it every day. I saw that they were nearing completion, but I am used to how road projects are completed in Peoria. And I just assumed that they would close the road for the winter and let residents lump it (which is what happened when Gale Avenue was closed for over a year).

I mean, I kept driving by it. My father would say “looks like it’s about ready to open.” And I kept saying “Are you kidding? They’ll stop working on it and it will remain closed through the winter.”

I am a man of little faith.

Then one day, Dad said. “Oh, by the way, Sterling Avenue is opened. Smarty.”

Turned out they finished the road. And then they reopened it. No fanfare. No ribbon cuttings. No politicians giving speeches (like the city of Peoria did — endlessly — with the Main Street/University Avenue intersection, or the county did when they FINALLY opened the new Kickapoo Bridge). I didn’t even get a press release. They just opened it up as soon as work was done.

It’s an interesting way to run a city.

There is ONE thing I will miss about this patch of road. Going downhill, about halfway between Nebraska and Farmington, someone has painted a happy face in tar. I always looked forward to seeing that.


Billy Dennis

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