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Traffic Woes At Towanda-Barnes Intersection Addressed

Michael Hill

Morning and afternoon traffic jams on southbound Towanda-Barnes Road at Ireland Grove Road in Bloomington could soon be a thing of the past following the approval of a right-turn lane by the city council. Alderman Diana Hauman said the improvement will make the road more usable.

"I've been there, at various times, using that intersection, and it can be cumbersome. You wait for a while to get through the lights."

Hauman said the change will also help take traffic off of Veterans Parkway. An increase in traffic heading to and from places such as State Farm, Unit 5 schools and homes in the area, which is south of the airport, caused Bloomington and McLean County to re-evaluate the intersection.

The two governments will split the bill to fund the project, which is estimated at $750 thousand. Hauman said the partnership might be an exception to one of her mayoral campaign platforms that the city needs to work on an overall plan for city streets rather than individual projects.

"We're trying to accomodate people on the east side, help them get to work easier. There's no bus service out to that area, so people rely on cars to get to and from work, church, groceries [and] whatever."

The improvements are slated to begin during the city's next fiscal year.

The council also approved a 20-year agreement with Corn Belt Energy Cooperative to provide electricity and street light maintenance for Bloomington.