Morton roads prepare for construction work

Drew Veskauf TimesNewspapers

Three major intersections in Morton will see a facelift in the upcoming years.

The Morton Public Works Department will be preparing for construction on the intersections at Main Street and U.S. Route 150; Jefferson Street and Detroit Avenue; and Jackson Street and Detroit Avenue.

The Director of Public Works Craig Loudermilk said the Main and Jackson project is undergoing planning and will be worked on in conjuction with the Illinois Department of Transportation. Since Jackson Street is also U.S. Route 150, the project will be under control of IDOT.

“It’s an IDOT job, so they will manage all of that. Inspections will be managed through IDOT,” Loudermilk said.

“This year they will be finalizing the phase two design and we’ll be coordinating with their engineer throughout that process.”

The intersection will be widened and will have traffic signals in place.

“It will really help with capacity,” Loudermilk said.

“That’s the main reason this is being done ... is for capacity, not necessarily for safety. Hopefully, longer term, it will be safer.”

Loudermilk said the village will pay for 20 percent of the work done on Main Street.

Construction could start as early as next year, but it could also begin in 2017 and would take about a year to complete, Loudermilk said.

“I don’t anticipate it taking too long. We’ll get in and get out,” Loudermilk said.

The two intersections on Detroit Avenue at Jackson Street and Jefferson Street will also see improvements in the coming years.

Loudermilk said the plans should be completed by the end of April.

“A big reason for Detroit, would be capacity,” Loudermilk said. “Those 

will all be reconstructed intersections. New signals, new everything.”

Detroit Avenue will also be expanded from three lanes to five lanes. The expansion will take place from the intersection at Jefferson Street to where Detroit Avenue becomes Detroit Parkway. 

Loudermilk said 70 percent, $1.86 million, will be received from federal funds.

“With that, though, you will see a lot of utility work separate from the project,” Loudermilk said.

“We want to at least get the utilities relocated prior to construction.”

However, one project will be complete by the end of this year. Sections of Crestwood, Fernwood and Greenwood Streets will undergo reconstruction of the curb and sidewalk. 

The construction at Greenwood will be from the flume to South Fourth Avenue. The construction at Crestwood will be from South Illinois Avenue to South Missouri Avenue and the Fernwood construction project will be from South Fourth Avenue to Sunset Road.

Traffic at these sections will be closed to thru traffic, but local traffic will be able to get through, Loudermilk said.

Loudermilk said the curb and sidewalks are the only sections of these streets to be replaced.

“These streets, in my opinion and from inspections, aren’t ready for replacement,” Loudermilk said.