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Bike lanes, crosswalks and other Route 9 projects in the works for Bloomington

Route 9 street sign
Eric Stock

Illinois Route 9 in Bloomington is about to see more construction with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) set to install new bike lanes, crosswalks, sidewalks and traffic signals.

One of the most notable projects is the addition of a crosswalk at the intersection of Empire Street and Veterans Parkway. IDOT reports more than 19,000 motorists travel in that area every day.

Bike and pedestrian accommodation also is on the way. It’s been planned since before the pandemic.

A 10-foot, multi-use path — one that both cyclists and pedestrians can use — will be constructed along the north side of Empire Street from Towanda Avenue to Carnahan Drive. An 8-foot sidewalk along the north and south sides of Market Street, from MLK Drive to Hinshaw Avenue, will be installed, too.

IDOT also says “modernized traffic signals” will be put in place along the corridor. That will go along with the rerouting and redesigning of multiple intersections, a safety upgrade at the Locust and Market streets railroad crossing and replacing some pavement, curbs and gutters.

The total stretch of construction is nearly 7 1/2 miles of road, and will cost $15.2 million during the first three phases through 2027; 80% of the funding is federal dollars. The rest comes from the state.

IDOT will host a public information meeting from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 13 at Bloomington Junior High School. Maps, drawings and aerial photography will be available to see. The public is encouraged to ask questions.

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Jack Podlesnik is a student reporter and announcer at WGLT. He joined the station in 2021.
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