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WOOD RIVER - When motorists drive on Illinois 143 to Wood River or out of the city, they automatically observe the busy East End Retention Project. Workers have been out there for the entire summer grading and installing pipes. The project is adjacent to the Kia dealership.

The goal of the project is to create a way to drain excess water from the 15 acres of land, so it can be developed. Wood River Mayor Tom Stalcup said there has already been interest in the land from area developers, so the project has aroused attention.

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Stalcup said the good news is the irrigation project will hopefully be done within the month, depending on the weather.

Mayor Stalcup said he is very excited to get the East End Retention Project completed to begin development. He said the area has great business potential for the City of Wood River.

"It will take out the long-time flooding of that area, so we can do some development," he said. "We had a business developer in last week to look at the area, so there is a lot of interest."

The project was funded by a 1 percent sales tax vote in 2019.