ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford’s sidewalks could soon be getting some needed improvements.
A city-wide plan to repair sidewalks passed through a city council meeting Monday evening, being brought to the city’s attention by the people who live in the community.
It is a project that is fully funded by the city’s infrastructure sales tax. The full city council now just needs to approve the bid.
“As someone who had a baby a couple of years ago, pushing a stroller along, that too,” said Tim Hinkens, city engineer for the City of Rockford. “You realize some of the cracks and bad sidewalks pretty quickly.”
The first of four city-wide sidewalk repair packages is now heading to city council for discussion after being approved by committee Monday night.
“This promotes a much healthier, cheaper, alternative type of transportation,” Hinkens said. “It also provides an alternative for recreation as well, instead of driving.”
The safety of residents is one of the main concerns.
“If we don’t repair our sidewalks, first of all, the neighborhood is going to start looking bad and it’s going to be a hazard,” said 11th Ward Alderman Isidro Barrios. “So, we’ve got to keep all the sidewalks in service, all the sidewalks in proper use and clean.”
The city also wants to make sure that the sidewalks comply with the “Americans with Disabilities Act.”
“Walking around the block, just, you know, a little exercise, and then if we keep those sidewalks in good shape, then all those people, they get better service,” Barrios said.
“If people can just get outside and be able to walk and not have to use the streets when they walk, it’s always nice,” Hinkens added.
The city is hoping that work could start in early May if city council approves the package next week, which could mean it will be completed by the Fourth of July.