PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Adams Street and Jefferson Avenue in downtown Peoria are both one-way streets that are getting converted to two-way streets in the next few years.

The current streetlights on Adams and Jefferson are pedestal-mounted and will be updated to mast arm to improve visibility and safety. The project also includes striped bike lanes to the existing directions of travel, as well as corner bump-outs to shorten the pedestrian crossing distance.

The upgrades have been in the works for quite some time now.

“We’ve been working on this project for probably six years… So it’ll be exciting to have it complete,” said Project Manager for Hanson Professional Services Inc., Cindy Loos.

Hanson Professional Services is the city’s consultant on the updated roads project.

At an open house on Wednesday, July 6, the public was able to see what the city of Peoria and Hanson Professional Services have been envisioning for the downtown area.

“It’s exciting to see this type of change downtown to make it a little more pedestrian-friendly. The roads are really wide right now, and there aren’t really easy bike lanes,” said John Ingles, Owner of Smiley Graphix Design Studio on Adams Street.

The construction will be on Adams Street from the existing two-way traffic at Walnut Street to Hamilton Boulevard, and construction on Jefferson Avenue will be from Walnut Street to Fayette Street.

Leaders at Hanson Professional Services are working through preliminary engineering with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), hoping for approval in the Fall. After that, they plan on getting a right-a-way acquisition and finishing design plans to go out by Spring of 2023.

Even though construction will take about a year, finishing in 2025, Ingles said he has no issue with the wait.

“I don’t think it’s going to be that difficult. We have ways to get around downtown without it being too significant of an issue, I think,” said Ingles.

The money for the project is coming from federal funds and grants. “The total construction cost is about $12 million, there is an almost $2 million grant from IDOT for safety funds to upgrade the signals, and the rest is coming from local funds,” said Loos.

Now, all that needs to be done is for the design and construction to get approved by IDOT, so the federal funding is made available.