HARVARD – The city will pay about $13,000 toward the removal of traffic signals as a part of a $2.3 million project to improve Route 14.
Tthe Illinois Department of Transportation will resurface the highway from Diggins Road in Harvard to State Line Road in unincorporated Chemung Township.
During the project's negotiations, the city conceded that they'd pay about two-thirds of the total cost to take down traffic lights at Route 14 and Crowley Road and Route 14 and the Old Motorola Entrance.
During talks last year, the city had said it'd like to keep the underused lights up but covered, because of the costs associated with taking them down.
But this way, City Administrator Dave Nelson said, at least they get out of maintenance costs.
"The road needs to be resurfaced, and we're getting out of paying the maintenance anyway ... [for] those traffic signals," he said.
An IDOT study last year concluded activity at those lights didn't exceed 10 vehicles an hour, making them eligible for removal.
Under the agreement, the city also will maintain current requirements with regard to parking, sewer discharge and encroachments. Nelson said that won't require a change in city policy.
"Through town, we already do that stuff," he said.
The city voted to sign off on the agreement at a city council meeting earlier this month. It's due back to IDOT by May 30 to allow construction to begin on time.
Once it does, Nelson said, motorists can expect some headaches.
"It'll be an inconvenience for awhile," he said. "But then when it's done, you get brand new pavement."