CREVE COEUR, Ill. (WMBD) — Nearly $2 million are headed to Creve Coeur to repair Wesley Road, a busy road with a history of bumps and potholes.
“The condition is not very good. We get emails all the time. We need potholes fixed here, we need potholes fixed there…It needs help and by the state grant that we’re going to get, that’s going to give us that help,” said Terry Keogel, public works director for the Village of Creve Coeur.
The $1.7 million state grant will fund the second phase of a three-part restoration of Wesley Road, running from the top of the road near Crusen’s on 29 to the railroad tracks. The grant will fund the full replacement of that stretch of road.
Keogel said a well-functioning Wesley Road is crucial to the village’s economy, adding the Illinois River “is like the I-55” of waterways.
“Wesley Road is like the port of our area. We have the railroad, we have the river, and our side…of Wesley Road is the deepest part, it has the current side. So its great for ADM, great for ARTCO, barge traffic and stuff like that and the lock and dam that’s down there. It’s a good fit,” he said.
The initial phase of the Wesley Road restoration involves a 2,000 foot stretch from the railroad tracks past Kuchie’s on the Water. That portion of the road will be treated using a process called heat scarification, a green construction process that recycles existing asphalt into new road, Keogel said.
“You take the asphalt that’s there now, heats it up, and then mills it back in.. Makes it pretty much a brand new road again,” he explained.
Jan Little, owner and general manager of Kuchie’s on the Water, said the pothole-ridden road has kept many customers from coming in.
“We listen to people complain every single day about the road conditions…’We started down there, we saw how bad the road was, we turned around and left.’ They don’t want to damage their vehicles,” she said.
Little said the road improvements will be good for business.
“It will be nice to have people be excited and not feel like they’re damaging their vehicles when they come down,” she said.
The third and final phase of the restoration is a stretch of unpaved road past Kuchie’s to the Peoria Lock and Dam. Keogel said they are looking for grants to fund the third phase.
Heat scarification will begin this summer for phase one. Keogel said they anticipate starting phase two in 18 to 24 months.