EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — One East Peoria bridge is getting renovations done to expand the sidewalk for pedestrians.

The $20 million project will start with phase one, being the engineering feasibility study, phase 2 will incorporate design and construction documents along with the actual construction.

But the ultimate goal of this project is to provide a safer way for pedestrians and bicyclists to pass through.

“We’re doing a deck rehabilitation project and as part of that we’re looking at ways to improve bicycle and pedestrian accommodations,” said Karen Dvorsky, bureau chief of program development at IDOT District 4

Dvorsky said every time people drive across the bridge, there are pedestrians walking and bicyclists passing through.

She said having a five-foot shoulder adjacent to the five-foot sidewalk is uncomfortable, and “By putting them both on the same level, and then providing the concrete barrier between the bikes and peds and the vehicle traffic, it’ll just make people a lot more comfortable.”

IDOT leaders said this will make it safer for everybody, but particularly those who are disabled.

Project coordinators have been meeting with community leaders over the past nine months to hear their thoughts on the matter.

During construction, the bridge will be closed off to vehicular traffic. Project Manager for Ciorba Group Brett Sauter said, “You can do construction quite a bit quicker, and we feel it’s going to be much safer for not only construction workers, [but] we’re proposing to keep the bridge open to pedestrian traffic.”

While the renovations are made, there will be detours around 474 for through traffic, but there are still lingering questions about how locals will navigate the area.

Leaders are hoping the construction part of the project will begin in 2023, expecting it to take one year to finish.