Road project affects WCPS

Savanna Mayor Chris Lain discusses the $5.5 million Wacker Road project with the West Carroll School Board and administrators during the March 18 board meeting. Final approval for the project has been received from the Illinois Department of Transportation and work is expected to begin in mid-June.

By SAMANTHA PIDDE

Savanna Mayor Chris Lain told the West Carroll School Board Monday, March 18, that final approval from the Illinois Department of Transportation for the Wacker Road project was received March 15.

The $5.5 million project will blacktop Wacker Road in Savanna from Illinois 84 to Penn Avenue, adding curb and gutters, crosswalks and new water and sewer lines.

The city of Savanna is receiving a $1,116,035 grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation and a $1,514.521 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, with the city's cost estimated at $600,000.

Lain told school board members that as part of the Safe Routes to School program, Elkay Manufacturing and Metform are donating $30,000 for the city's match. Elkay and Metform plants are located at the eastern edge of Wacker Road within the city limits.

Mayor Lain displayed a visual aid of the project design, showing how Wacker Road will be widened by two feet to 31 feet and where new sidewalks will be on Willow and Hickory Streets, as well as on Viaduct Road to Cedar Street and additional areas.

He added that the intersection at Illinois 84 will be widened, making it easier for school buses. Lain said it will be good to have a road "built for school buses and trucks."

"Hopefully this will help with safety for the kids," Lain said.

Flashing lights near the West Carroll Primary School intersection on Wacker Road also will be part of the project. Supt. Julie Katzenberger thanked Mayor Lain for this, saying it would be particularly beneficial on foggy days.

A bid opening is planned for April 22 and Mayor Lain said the construction start date is June 10, with the substantial construction completion date Nov. 20.

When asked where traffic on closed roads would be re-directed during construction, Lain confirmed traffic would be re-routed to Portland Avenue. He said the only other option would be Scenic Bluff, which he described as "not a very viable option."