Local

Woodstock City Council to discuss Route 47 widening project

Business owners encouraged to attend

WOODSTOCK – The City Council will discuss a planned road construction project that some worry could put the brakes on business along Route 47 in Woodstock.

Business owners are encouraged to attend the City Council meeting Tuesday to discuss the effect of the proposed Route 47 widening project.

The Woodstock City Council will meet to discuss the proposed plan at 7 p.m. at Woodstock City Hall. Illinois Department of Transportation officials will be present to provide an overview of the design and answer questions.

IDOT plans to widen about 5 miles along Route 47 between Charles Road and Route 14 to allow for two lanes of traffic in each direction, separated by a raised curb median, according to city documents.

The most common problem drivers find on Route 47 is congestion, Public Works Director Jeff Van Landuyt said. However, the construction could have a significant effect on businesses in that corridor, he added.

“People want to stay away from construction, and so they may go someplace else,” he said. “If people are driving, and it’s not convenient or they don’t feel comfortable navigating, they might avoid the area.”

Business owners previously have expressed concern that the median will reduce access to their stores, as well. Tuesday will be one of the last meetings on the topic before the public hearing, which is expected to be in the summer.

IDOT proposes five roundabouts at different intersections along Route 47. Sidewalk and bicycle path improvements also are part of the proposed plan. Officials have said the changes will make the road safer and easier for drivers to navigate.

The project still is in its early stages. Funding for the remaining phases of the project – which include land acquisition, construction and construction engineering – are not included in IDOT’s five-year proposed highway improvement program as of yet, according to the city.

“We’ve been told that even if it was funded today, it would still be two or three years before we start seeing construction,” Van Landuyt said.

If you go:

WHAT: Woodstock City Council meeting

WHERE: 121 W. Calhoun St.

WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday

INFO: www.woodstockil.gov

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