WASHINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — The City of Washington hosted two virtual public meetings for the Freedom Parkway and Lakeshore Drive Extension Project Tuesday.

During the meeting, the city presented the conceptual design, tentative project schedule, and addressed the purpose and need for the project.

The project would extend Freedom Parkway from where it ends near Menards and Walmart, and extend it to Cummings Lane. Lakeshore Drive will also be extended from Washington Road to the newly extended Freedom Parkway.

A shared-use path for bikes and pedestrians has also been proposed for Freedom Parkway from McClugage Road to Cummings Lane, as well as for the Lakeshore Drive extension.

The purpose of the project is to expand the city of Washington transportation network by providing connectivity for all modes of transportation along the new Freedom Parkway and Lakeshore Drive corridors. The project will also enable economic development in accordance with the city’s land-use plan.

Project Engineer Colin Coad said that moving forward, the project team plans to finalize the project report, detailed design, and construction documents.

“Construction of Freedom Parkway is anticipated to begin later this year,” Coad said. “Lakeshore Drive extension is a long-range plan, and currently there is no anticipated construction date for that work.”

According to Coad, the preliminary cost estimate for the project is $10 million. By the year 2045, the road extensions are anticipated to accommodate more than 7,000 cars a day.

Public comments can be added to the project report by emailing City Engineer Dennis Carr at dcarr@ci.washington.il.us or mailing them to Dennis Carr at 301 Walnut Street, Washington, Ill. 61571 before Jan. 25.