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St. Charles Residents To Choose From Fifth Street Gateway Project Options

(via Flickr/kla4067)

Pedestrians using Fifth Street in St. Charles may see more accessible streets in their future.

Three different proposals of the Fifth Street Gateway Project will be presented at an open house Wednesday evening at St. John United Church of Christ at 5 p.m. 

St. Charles residents will have a chance tonight to pick from the three plans designed to improve Fifth Street from I-70 to First Capital Drive; the project has been in the works since 2011.

City engineer Kevin Corwin says they want to improve traffic flow, create better aesthetics and increase pedestrian access.

“Now it’s not a very safe or comfortable place for pedestrians to cross," Corwin said. "A lot was from what we heard in the planning that was done in 2011—we heard from the public input sessions that they just feel that cars move too fast and people don’t feel safe.”

The project is scheduled to begin next July and will focus on providing a gateway into the heart of St. Charles, which includes St. Joseph Hospital.

The city and the hospital have been working closely on the $7.8 million project, and Corwin said the hospital is key to the improvements.

“They’re looking into the future for how they can expand their presence in the middle of St. Charles and how they can offer more services to the public, so it made seemed to make sense to center the redevelopment district around what the hospital is planning in the future—you know, kind of like Washington University in St. Louis,” Corwin said.

The project is estimated to be finished by the summer of 2015.

After Wednesday's open house, residents will have a chance to vote again on the final plans in November. 

Follow Kristi Luther on Twitter: @kaluther