Peoria Heights hoping to decrease car traffic and increase foot traffic

Local News

PEORIA HEIGHTS, Ill. (WMBD) — Peoria Heights village administrators are hoping to reconstruct the popular strip of local shops and restaurants along Prospect Road.

“It’s very important for us to get this project started,” said Village Administrator Dustin Sutton.

Administrators and members of the Peoria Heights Chamber of Commerce started efforts to apply for grant money. The plan, if it comes to fruition, would redo the infrastructure of Prospect Road from Tower Park all the way to War Memorial Drive.

“It’ll be safer I think,” Sutton said. “I think it would be a win-win for the village all the way around.”

Hugh Higgins, owner of Hearth Restaurant, located at 4604 N. Prospect Rd., said he couldn’t agree more.

“The ideal situation is to become more of a destination point and not a shortcut from one point of town to another,” he said.

He said the goal is to divert traffic from the road, and said plans have been in the works for years.

Higgins said expanding the sidewalks is another major goal of the possible project. The idea is very attractive to himself and other neighboring business owners.

“The Heights is known as a dining destination for one, and the outdoor dining experience here is fantastic,” he said.

Staff from Advocates for Access, a private nonprofit empowering people with disabilities to live independently, said the sidewalk expansion would make the area more accessible.

The possible future construction could be massive, but Higgins said it’s worth it.

“This is the sacrifice that hopefully, everyone’s willing to make, and thinking more long term,” he said

Sutton said the project could be anywhere from $6-12 million, so village staff, business owners, and chamber members are working together to hopefully secure grant money.

A grant application is due Monday, and while competitive, Dustin said he is confident the Heights could be a winner.

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