The Town of Normal will be filling in gaps of the sidewalk system close to Illinois State University.
The Town Council has approved using over $270,000 of Motor Fuel Tax Funds for sidewalk improvements on Beech Street, Fell Avenue, and University Street.
City Manager Mark Peterson said the Town wants to improve pedestrian safety in the predominantly-student area.
"Pedestrians may have to be forced to cross the street to use the sidewalk or go around the block, or do something that many don't do," said Peterson. "So, what we find is that pedestrians will sometimes walk in the street, creating an unsafe situation."
Peterson said staff has been waiting for the Town's railwork projects to finish before undertaking the sidewalk improvements. He said there isn't a set deadline for the sidewalks, but he expects the work to be done by June.
The high speed rail upgrades are scheduled to be completed soon. Peterson said the last intersection closure at College Avenue should be reopened by April 30. But, Peterson said there will also be an inter-track fence that will run down the center of the tracks throughout the community.
He said that project hasn't even started yet.
"That's one contractor that will just run one continuous fence, obviously they stop at the streets, separating the two rail lines. So, it further prevents people from crossing in front of the rail lines. You have to go over three fences," said Peterson.
Peterson said the fence can keep people from thinking about trying to climb or cross over the tracks. He also said the new fencing will be added this Spring.
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