PEORIA HEIGHTS, Ill. (WMBD) — Congressman Darin LaHood (R-16) made a stop in Peoria Heights to announce federal funding coming to a local road project Thursday.

According to LaHood, $2 million in funding will go to the Peoria Heights Prospect Road Reconstruction project, which is a year in the making and will cover War Memorial Drive to Tower Park.

“It’s going to upgrade the sidewalks, from War Memorial all the way up here, it is going to make it more user-friendly, more pedestrian-friendly, it’s going to work on the sewer system along the way,” LaHood said. “It will be money that is well spent and well-used in this community.”

LaHood called the funding a great example of multiple levels of government coming together for a common goal.

“Peoria Heights ought to be an example for other communities throughout the state on working together in a collaborative way, whether it is here at the village level, with the Tri-County Regional planning, with the county board level and at the federal level, that collaboration is at work here in Peoria Heights, and we see the success here right down the road where we see that money being spent,” LaHood said.

Peoria Heights Mayor Michael Phelan said that in addition to the federal funding, they are investing $500,000 into the first phase of the project.

“We are also investing our own money into this project because we feel very strongly about this, a rising tide lifts all boats, and we feel this will generate a lot of sales tax revenue for the village that we can reinvest,” Phelan said. “That’s really how we pay our bills, that’s how we put police on the street, that’s how we pay firefighters for public safety, that’s how we repair roads, etc.”

Phelan said the project is a great investment for the village and its residents.

“It will improve the quality of life, it will generate more sales tax revenue, make a better downtown, make the road more safe and accessible,” Phelan said.

Local business leaders said the accessibility benefits would bring in more people and generate more business for the heights.

“When you create more accessibility with compliant sidewalks so we can actually have people walking safely to the Heights,” Lauren Blasek, co-owner of W.E. Sullivan’s, said. “You also have the accessibility of the bike trail and I think that alone will give people a different avenue for getting to our location versus just the car traffic.”

According to Community Development Director for the Heights, Wayne Aldrich, the project is currently in the conceptual/preliminary engineering phase, which can take up to a year and a half.

“It is important to note that if you do phase one, it really sets yourself up well for getting other federal and state funding, so it’s a very important step of the project,” Aldrich said.

The traffic study portion of phase one will also help them identify what changes the projects should focus on, including consistent lighting, improved sidewalks, bike lanes and enhancing the experience of non-motorized modes of transportation.

Construction is currently expected to start in 2026 and the project is expected to cost about $20 million.