Sidewalks are closed and lanes blocked on Rockford’s West State Street as pathways are being rebuilt and new light posts will soon be installed.
“This is one of our projects to beautify the downtown area,” said Assistant Traffic Engineer, Timothy Hinkens. “The aesthetics of it are going to be beautiful. I can see it drawing more people to the area.”
This is the first step in what could be the next phase of a major rebuilding of West State Street, and elimination of blight along with it.
The city of Rockford proposed using nearly a million dollars to acquire several properties on West State, in between Independence and Horace Avenues, for eventual demolition and road improvements.
“It could be a good thing. It could bring back stability to the community,” said Resident Dyrello Hall Jr.
West side residents are saying that the road project could mean a better future for the city, in more than just beautification.
“It’s time for a change, the way it’s looking, it looks like it’s all run-down, no money,” said Hall. “That means people wouldn’t be wanting to come to a town or city like this because of how it looks. But, fixing the town up would bring more money and probably more businesses to the community.”
“All it takes is one step. First, we have to make the step. You can’t stay in the same situation and expect change to come,” said Resident Benjamin Perry.