Water & Main Street Improvements (US 51) Study to Begin and More News

You don’t have to drive far on Water Street or North Main in Decatur to know the roads could use some help. Yeah, they need repaved, and have needed so for years, but a bigger project is coming that will change how the roads look and are used.

Traffic on these busy roads through the center of Decatur has changed over the past several years. Semis and large trucks no longer travel the roads as much as they once did since semi traffic was restricted in Downtown Decatur a few years ago. Most truckers now take different routes through the city. Also, Decatur’s population has decreased significantly and continues to decline, so the needs of the roads have changed.

The roads also reflect greatly upon the image of the city. Yes, the potholes are bad enough, but the roads could be improved in many other ways to paint the city in a much better light. One proposed change is to increase the distance from the road to the homes that line it. This would make the homes more desirable for homeowners and those wanting to invest in them.

My brother’s family used to live on the corner of North Water and Division, and while the home could be restored to something beautiful, neighborhood crime and the house being so close to the road didn’t make it economically practical to do so. Many of the nearby homes have already been demolished, and it isn’t likely the vacant lots will be built on any time soon. This is a part of the city that needs a lot of help.

It’s not all bad news, though. North Water Street, as you go farther north, has some very attractive homes and the Elms neighborhood is still desirable with affordable homes for young families and retirees.

A bike lane is proposed on North Water that will connect with future bike lanes planned in the city.

The study will take two years, so these changes aren’t coming tomorrow, but you can view them and give your feedback at the Decatur Civic Center on March 30th, from 4-7 pm.

It will sure be nice when the project is done. Just repaving the roads would be a huge improvement. They are a bumpy eyesore. I don’t know how some of the pavement will last another two years without some work, though.

You can view the details of the study on IDOT’s website, here. I plan to go to check out the changes in person, and I’ll share what I find out.

Lincoln Square Theater Renovations Continue

In other news, I saw that the horrible green ceiling of the Lincoln Square Theater was recently repainted a fresh cost of white paint! It’s believed that the green paint had been there longer than 50 years. It had been peeling and not looking so great for many of those 50+ years.

The next phase of the renovation is to begin after the Little River Band concert on March 24th. I’ll be attending that concert. I was thinking about going tonight to the Motown Review, but saw that it was sold out. That’s terrific news! It’s not terrific for me, but great for the theater. It’s sure nice to have somewhere to go on cold (or hot) weekends to catch a show. I hope it continues to do well.

Thank you to all who have contributed their time, money and talents. It’s one of the best stories ever of Decatur. It’s truly a labor of love. If you’re interested, you can volunteer at the theater to help with renovations and/or during events by checking out the Friends of the Lincoln Square Theater Facebook page.