ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A Rockford road is getting a much needed facelift.
Reconstruction on Charles Street, from 38th Street to Parkside Drive, begins next week. At least one employee who works at the edge of the project believes that short-term inconvenience will lead to long-term benefits.
“Well, I think the road repair is absolutely needed. The sidewalks are crumbling, the street is crumbling, so I look quite forward to that,” said Greg Whitson, employee at Guzzardo Music. “I’m not sure how much it will impede our business. Hopefully not a ton. We’re very specialty business.”
Whitson, who was born and raised in Rockford, has worked at Guzzardo Music for more than 40 years. He looks forward to the reconstruction on Charles Street, hoping it will make business better.
“I think once it’s done, it will actually lift business levels here, I do believe, just be much more accessible, and this is going to be a nice environment,” Whitson said.
Improvements include everything from new traffic signals, a multi-use oath, sidewalk replacement and new concrete curbs and gutters, as well as a new storm sewer to help with flooding issues.
“The storm drain drainage will be huge here, because we do have trouble when we get heavy rains, and since there’s a downhill slope here, I don’t believe the drainage is always really good,” Whitson said. “We’ve had water issues here.”
Whitson is happy to see that things are being done with his tax dollars.
Drivers coming from the north will detour to E. State Street. Those coming from the south will shift to Broadway.
“Might reroute people a little bit, might reroute myself a little bit for a while, but it’ll be worth it in the end,” Whitson said.
The City of Rockford said that garbage collection, emergency services and mail delivery will remain unchanged for residents during the closure and improvements, which is expected to last into early fall.