Bloomington rejects Towanda Barnes improvements in 5-4 vote

Towanda Barnes Road
Bloomington aldermen have voted against improvements to the Towanda Barnes and Ireland Grove roads intersection. (Photo courtesy WMBD-TV)

By Eric Stock

BLOOMINGTON – Bloomington alderman aren’t ready to pour $450,000 into a road project for what McLean County officials say is one of its most dangerous intersections.

Mayor Tari Renner on Monday night cast the tiebreaking vote against a plan to have the city pay half the cost to expand the intersection of Towanda Barnes and Ireland Grove roads.

Interim City Manager Steve Rasmussen told WJBC’s Scott Laughlin it’s back to the drawing board.

“The county and the two public works departments will take another run at that and see what might be able to be done in the future,” Rasmussen said.

The $900,000 project which was scaled down from a previous plan to cut costs, calls for construction of a southbound free-flow right turn lane on Towanda Barnes, which city staff said would alleviate traffic delays on southbound Towanda Barnes.

City alderman said they’d prefer the money pay to fix the roads in the city’s historic west-side neighborhoods.

County Administrator Bill Wasson said he’s committed to continue working with the city on intersection improvements.

Eric Stock can be reached at eric.stock@cumulus.com.

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