Pekin Reopens Front Street After $6 Million Renovation

PEKIN, Ill. (WMBD) – Mayor Mark Luft held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday to celebrate the completion of a $6.2 million upgrade to Pekin’s heavily used Industrial Road.

The front road runs through the Industrial Park next to the Alton Pekin Ethanol Plant off Pekin Distillery Road. It serves more than 800 vehicles a day, according to Josie Esker, a Pekin city engineer.

“Honestly, this was a dream location. This used to be a one-way street. It was about 20 feet wide, and we had 800 cars come in, piled up, waiting in line one after the other. . They would gather all the way to the Pekin Bridge, sometimes on the highway,” she said.

The newly widened and renovated frontage boasts a complete replacement of concrete pavement, new sidewalks and streets, new storm sewers and upgraded railroad crossings.

“We’ve widened the road, we’ve created these lanes so trucks can move freely and hopefully keep them from backing up onto the highway,” Esker said.

Esker said the road renovation project took almost two years and it was wonderful to be at the end. Almost all of the project was funded by multiple grants.

“It’s a big relief to be honest. This has been a big project on our plate for a long time. It’s nice to drive when it’s open, it’s really smooth and we’re proud of it,” she said. “Without this road, these businesses would have closed. .”