Groundbreaking for the East Alton Defense Area Redevelopment Project - a plan that has been at least a decade in the making -  is complete, and it’s full speed ahead on the project.  New homes will be going up where the old homes are coming down.  Local elected and business leaders gathered Monday to celebrate the milestone.

The development will be called Emerald Ridge, as Emerald was the original name of East Alton.  The houses will be single-family housing, with two and three-bedrooms.  Riverbend Growth Association Executive Director Monica Bristow says this is good news on many fronts.

Click here for Bristow's comments

The tenants will be able to rent the homes under a long-term agreement, and they will own the homes after 15 years.  The homes are being built in the area that makes up the center of town, bordered by the library and the Middle School on the south along 3rd Street, and the Wilshire Village Shopping Center to the north.  The actual groundbreaking ceremony was moved indoors due to the cold weather.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/ www.AltonDailyNews.com )