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posted: 4/26/2014 8:00 AM

Elgin's Riverside Drive ready for finishing touches

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  • Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to attend a ribbon-cutting for Riverside Drive in Elgin sometime in late July or early August, city officials said.

       Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to attend a ribbon-cutting for Riverside Drive in Elgin sometime in late July or early August, city officials said.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 

Riverside Drive in Elgin, along with its pedestrian-friendly promenade and overlooks the Fox River, is nearing completion after two years of construction.

Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to attend a ribbon-cutting sometime in late July or early August, Assistant City Manager Rick Kozal said.

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The two-lane road running from Festival Park to Chicago Street opened earlier this year, but is closed intermittently as crews continue to work on it, City Engineer Joe Evers said.

Also, the bike path is still blocked off by yet-to-be-installed bollards, and there is construction debris in the area, he said.

In the coming weeks, more work needs to be done, including painting, brick and electrical work, Evers said.

Everything is expected to be completed by the end of June, he said.

The $10.5 million project is managed by IHC Construction Companies of Elgin.

Funding came from two grants totaling $9 million from the state's department of commerce and economic opportunity, and $1.5 million in city tax-increment financing district funds.

"There's nothing more satisfying than getting a large project to the finish line," Evers said.

"I think it looks real nice. I'm pleased with the outcome, although I'd like to see the job done (first)."

The old deck, closed for more than a decade, was removed in June 2012.

The project's completion couldn't come at a better time, following a rough winter for downtown businesses, said Mike Butirro, co-owner of Chooch's Pizzeria.

The establishment has the only outdoor patio overlooking Riverside Drive.

"It's like the golden gem of Elgin," he said. "We're hoping this kicks everything into gear."

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