Travelers on busy Peterson Road in Libertyville can expect more color and texture this fall with the completion of the fourth and final part of an initiative to beautify the commercial corridor.
Weather permitting, the village wants to finish the landscape improvement program intended to add zip to the busy 1.2-mile stretch between Butterfield Road and Milwaukee Avenue.
Peterson is a northern entry to town, and while populated with many businesses, it is distinct from the shopping and dining hub downtown. It has a much higher speed limit with commuters heading to and from the I-94 tollway, is more spread out, and is not conducive for a stroll from business to business.
The village has been working with businesses in the area to increase visibility since 2008 with the first landscaping installed in 2012.
Some businesses along Peterson were battered by two years of construction ending in 2014 to widen Milwaukee Avenue and its intersection with Peterson.
Pending local approval and permits from the Illinois Department of Transportation, 347 shrubs and 2,236 perennials will be planted. The focus will be from Butterfield to Bell Lane and include what now are grass-covered medians. Additional beds of vegetation will be planted in various areas along the right of way.
The village delayed an anticipated spring installation to expand the project to cover all areas not addressed in previous years. Planting is expected in late fall. The budget for this portion is about $90,000.
Plans show medians filled with a mix of shrubs, switch grass, and perennials.
"Hopefully, it will add a nice feature as you drive down the street," said Heather Rowe, the village's economic development coordinator.
"It's a fairly fast-moving street and for a long stretch in the center there's not much in the median. We thought it would have an impact on the visual experience," she said.
The plan will be presented Monday to the village's appearance review commission. Business and property owners have been invited to attend the session beginning at 7 p.m. at village hall, 118 W. Cook Ave.
The village board then will consider the matter, and if approved a contractor will be selected through a bidding process. Permits also would be sought from IDOT, which has jurisdiction for Peterson Road, also known as Route 137.
Rowe said the village has been trying to beautify all of its significant corridors, with some of the funds coming from a 1 percent "places for eating tax" that became effective Oct. 1.