Dixon moving forward with Safe Routes to School project

City’s $2.25 million project will include safety improvements, road resurfacing

The city of Dixon has received a safe routes to school grant that will fund new flashing, crossing and speed signals at the corner of Galena and Division.

DIXON – The Dixon City Council recently approved construction engineering for a $2.25 million project to make improvements near Reagan Middle School.

In 2019, the city received a $200,000 Safe Routes to School grant to make safety upgrades in that area due to traffic concerns, especially where South Galena Avenue meets Division Street.

The federal Safe Routes to School program reimburses projects that aim to make areas more walk- or bike-friendly for students going to and from school, and funds are administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

[ City receives Safe Routes to School grant ]

The project was expanded to include nearby streets and road resurfacing. The city also did water main work along Division Street in 2021 in anticipation of the project.

Galena Avenue will see sidewalk extensions from Division to West 10th streets, as well as new ramps, curbs, street markings and signage. There will be lighted signage at Patrick’s Court and Division.

It will be fully modernized and up to code.”

—  Public Works Director Matt Heckman

Division Street and Fargo Avenue will get new sidewalks, curbs and repaved road with hot-mix asphalt. Street markings also will be improved to be more visible where Division Street becomes a one-way in front of Reagan Middle School and front parking is located.

[City planning new safety improvements for crossing around Reagan Middle School in Dixon]

Work also will be done to fill in patches of sidewalk on the east side of Hemlock Avenue and west side of Chestnut Avenue, both from Pine to Division streets. Walnut will have new sidewalk on the east side from Division to Ash Court.

The city has already begun taking down some trees along Division Street and Fargo Avenue for the work, Public Works Director Matt Heckman said.

“It will be fully modernized and up to code,” he said.

The goal is to complete the project before the start of the new school year.

The council approved a construction engineering agreement during its last meeting with Fehr Graham Engineering and Environmental for $192,984.

The area will be safer and better marked for students and pedestrians, Mayor Li Arellano Jr. said.

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Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers joined Sauk Valley Media in 2016 covering local government in Dixon and Lee County.