State and local leaders gathered this past week to mark the completion of the first phase of Fairview Heights’ new cityscape project.
State Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, state Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, Fairview Heights Mayor Mark Kupsky, and other local elected officials were on board to open the project.
The completed road project is located off Illinois Route 159 and is the first in a series of projects and road expansion the city will complete in the coming years.
“With the increase in amount of people shopping during the busy holiday season, it is important that we ensure they have a safe and functional way to get where they need to go,” said Stuart. “When we are able to combine local, state, and federal resources to get road projects done, it improves the lives of residents in the community by giving them an easier path to get to work or take advantage of the many restaurants and retail stores the area offers.”
She added: “This space allows for a better flow of traffic and helps to avoid accidents. The completed access road and surrounding landscaping not only improves the functionality of the roads for the community, but the nice scenery also a source of pride for residents in the area.”
The nearly $5 million project is designed to create a more distinctive streetscape to Market Place and Commerce Lane by adding curb, gutter and sidewalks as well as median treatments, street trees, plantings, additional lighting, signage and entry wall treatments.
Construction on Phase I made improvements along Market Place from Illinois Route 159 to the rear of parcels for Petco and DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse.
The second phase will construct a roundabout at the intersection of Market Place and Commerce Lane and is set to begin in 2019. Subsequent phases of this project will complete improvements between the roundabout and the end of Phase I, as well as north and south along Commerce Lane.
In 2013, the city of Fairview Heights adopted a Complete Streets policy to ensure that the needs of bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit riders are considered along with those of motorists in planning for any transportation corridor.
Complete streets is a transportation policy and design approach that requires streets to be planned, designed, operated, and maintained to enable safe, convenient and comfortable travel and access for users of all ages and abilities regardless of whether they travel on foot, on a bicycle, via transit or in a private car.