WASHINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) Washington police are trying to put an end to people using Lawndale Avenue. The road is currently under construction, but people are bypassing the detour and using it anyway.
Public works crews are repairing the road by implementing new curbs, sidewalks, and fixing some of the drainage issues that Washington Police Chief Michael McCoy says has caused safety concerns.
“It’s only closed for through traffic,” said McCoy. “People who live there, have to go down that street. We don’t want people to cut through that way, and that’s what a lot of people are doing.”
McCoy says people who used the road for their morning or evening commute are now being forced to go around..
“I have to go down Hilldale, up Main Street, and then come down Jefferson Street or Peoria street,” said Denise Welch. “To do that it take maybe two minutes, its not a lot, its just less traffic, more convenient if you can go that way.”
Chief McCoy says he hears how inconvenient it may be for people, but says the work needs to be done.
“Sometimes you have to go out of the way a little bit to get the work done,” said McCoy. “This is one of those cases.”
People are cutting through are causing more than just an inconvenience to fellow homeowners. McCoy says the tires of drivers going too fast have picked up rocks from the dirt road, and have become airborne, hitting and damaging several cars.
“They go so fast and we’ve got little kids that live across the street,” said Kathy Smith. “The dust that they raise when they just go flying down this road is horrid. Plus they have a son with leukemia, and the dust gets so bad that he can’t come outside.”
McCoy says since the message is not getting through to drivers in the area, the police department may have to start cracking down.
“The road is closed,” he said. “If you go through a road closed sign sometimes you get a citation.”
The roadwork is expected to be completed by the end of this year.