The next section of a continuing streetscape improvement plan along Peterson Road in Libertyville will be concentrated near Route 21 where businesses have been battered the past two years because of road construction.
Though modest in the big picture, the pending $25,000 village investment is a nod to a busy retail stretch outside the bustling downtown area.
"We're trying to add some attraction to the corridor for those who commute and frequent the businesses," said Heather Rowe, the village's economic development coordinator.
Pending permits from the Illinois Department of Transportation and local approval, the plantings will include about 15 trees, 100 shrubs and 400 perennials. Varieties were selected for their color and the tolerance to snow and salt, Rowe said.
The village implemented a beautification program on public land along Peterson Road in response to interest by business and property owners. In the past two years, it has invested about $50,000 to improve the landscape and plant trees.
So far, the work has been focused on the west end of Peterson Road. Beds and shrubs were planted on the south side adjacent to the Butterfield Square shopping center, and trees were installed on the north side adjacent to Libertyville Manor.
Those areas near Butterfield Road were the farthest away from road construction on the east end of Peterson Road at Route 21 (Milwaukee Avenue).
That $23 million project to widen the intersection at Peterson Road and widening Milwaukee Avenue to the north and south lasted two construction seasons before wrapping up in recent months.
Rowe said businesses were hurt during construction and several landlords gave rent concessions to keep tenants.
"Many of the businesses indicated there was a very significant impact to revenues," during construction, she said.
"We haven't seen a great exodus of businesses in that area but anecdotally know it was hurtful to their bottom line."
Rowe said the streetscape plantings would cover areas within about two blocks west of the intersection, though exact locations will depend on the amount of available right-of-way in which to plant. The work will be done this fall or early next spring.
Beauty: Businesses suffered during construction