KHQA recently heard about a plan to resurface the square in
We wanted to find out more about the project and how much it's going to cost.
You have to take your time when you drive through the inside ring of the square in downtown
. Cars can pull out at any time.
That's why Mayor Mike Inman says that the city is moving forward with a plan to improve the flow of traffic and other elements of the square.
It includes getting rid of inside medians and one of two inner parking lanes.
"To improve the ability for folks to go around the square and not meet obstacles that would make it very difficult for an ambulance or a fire truck or some of these larger delivery vehicles that are trying to make deliveries of merchandise to our downtown businesses," Mayor Inman said.
Other changes include resurfacing the streets around the square and putting four new buffers, one at each corner.
"That will allow for that buffer and greater lines of sight that do not exist now," Inman said. "But they'll also provide opportunities for us to plant trees and other landscaping amenities that will improve the overall appearance of the downtown."
The sidewalks around the square will also be expanded from about 12 feet to 16 feet.
John Nelson, the owner of
, was one of several downtown property owners that the city consulted.
"We all got to work and devised on a plan that we got input into just how much we were willing to trade off and do," Nelson said. "So we're happy with the plan we got and we're looking forward to that expansion."
The entire project will cost well over 4 million dollars.
A bite the city can't handle.
So it will apply for grant money through the Illinois Department of Transportation to help offset some of that cost.
This project is still in its very early stages.
If all goes as planned, actual work on the project would not start until 2016.