Construction Projects To Bring Congestion To Brookside Area

Monday, June 29th 2015, 11:30 pm
By: News On 6

Drivers in the Brookside area will have to deal with two construction projects at once.

Riverside Drive is set to close for two years starting on July 13, and Monday work started on one of the detour routes that will still be under construction when Riverside closes.

6/24/2015 Related Story: Gathering Place Construction To Close Riverside Drive For Two Years

The orange cones went up Monday and reduced Peoria to one lane in each direction as work is done on a water line.

The project isn't supposed to be finished until the end of next month, which means Peoria will only be one lane at the same time Riverside Drive is closed.

Osage SkyNews 6 HD flew over the construction area on Peoria, which stretches from 28th Street to Hazel.

While there isn't much traffic yet, there will be in just a few weeks when Riverside Drive between 41st and 24th closes, diverting traffic down Peoria.

"I just thought it's going to have to be one more thing to dodge to get to work," resident Randy Cole said. "Rip off the Band-Aid, let's just do it all at once."

City Engineer Paul Zachary thought the same thing.

City crews are working on a few water lines, which run underneath Peoria, as part of an ongoing project to relocate neighborhood water and gas lines.

"Instead of tearing up that street in the spring of 2016 when we are fully dealing with closures, we thought we could just get it out of the way now," Zachary said.

While he hopes crews can get it done before Riverside Drive closes for two years as part of the Gathering Place construction, he thinks the two projects will overlap, but only for a few weeks.

That means the Brookside area will be even more congested, which businesses like Hot Bunz are excited about.

"Hopefully we have a lot more new business, new faces, and, hopefully, make a lot more new and repeat customers," Manager Jessica Dewane said. "Hopefully it will all work out and I won't be late every day, that's my ultimate goal, to not be late every day."

And neighbors like Cole are looking toward the future.

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"Being so close to the park will be great for recreational, property values, great things to show off and visitors who come from out of town. I am so proud of our city for this,” he said.

Engineers said it usually takes about five to six weeks for drivers to get adjusted after a major closure.