Aldermen Pump Brakes On Towanda Barnes, Ireland Grove Project | WGLT

Aldermen Pump Brakes On Towanda Barnes, Ireland Grove Project

Oct 24, 2017

The Bloomington City Council on Monday pumped the brakes on a project to expand the intersection of Towanda Barnes and Ireland Grove roads.

Aldermen were considering a proposal to spend an additional $900,000 in motor fuel tax funds for construction of the project, a joint effort with McLean County. The project was prompted by traffic backups and accidents at the intersection.

Ward 7 Scott Black, who represents the city’s west side, said the money needs to be spent elsewhere in the community.

"From my perspective it makes more sense to spend that money in our historic core," said Black. "As opposed to a far-east side intersection, which is only alleviating traffic during very specific times."

The council agreed to send the proposal to the city’s newly formed Transportation Commission to evaluate alternative uses of the funds.

Special Session

Prior to the regular meeting, Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Jay Tetzloff and representatives from GreenPlay updated the city council on their ongoing parks and rec master plan to improve and maintain parks in the community.

Based on a sample of 505 residents, 95 percent of people said they’re satisfied with how parks are kept up. GreenPlay, a private parks and recreation consultant, will speak to the council again in 2018 for a "visioning session."

Additionally, Public Works Director Jim Karch presented a proposed brick streets master plan with 10 years of tentative spending and construction on Bloomington's brick roads. Karch said the city plans to develop new roads while maintaining the old ones.

City Manager David Hales said the city should remain cautious on allocating spending for the bricks streets, as budgets for future fiscal years are not finalized.

WGLT depends on financial support from users to bring you stories and interviews like this one. As someone who values experienced, knowledgeable, and award-winning journalists covering meaningful stories in central Illinois, please consider making a contribution.