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ALTON - One of the most-traveled intersections in downtown Alton may get a makeover in the near future as community beautification organization Pride, Inc. looks to redo the landscaping at the intersection of Broadway and Piasa Streets.

Natalie Merrill, vice president of beautification for Pride, Inc., shared more about the project at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

“Tonight I wanted to talk to you about a project that we are excited about and partnering with the city,” Merrill said. “It is in downtown Alton, it is the intersection of Broadway and Piasa Street - so to give you a visual on that, that is the big intersection with the stoplights where the Argosy is, Alton Visitor’s Center, Lincoln-Douglas Square, and the old Royal Office Products parking lot.

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“Pride believes that this intersection must be one of the most traveled intersections in the Alton and Godfrey area, with thousands of cars traveling this corridor to and from the Clark Bridge, the Great River Road, Downtown Alton and Homer M. Adams Parkway. This intersection is a main artery to, from, and around our town. First impressions are important and we believe this is one way that we can upgrade this intersection by refreshing this landscaping.”

Merrill acknowledged that there’s been landscaping in the area in the past, but said it has gotten old and needs to be redone at “all four corners” of the intersection. Precautions would be taken to not only make the new landscaping low-maintenance for the Parks and Recreation Department, but also resilient to the rough growing conditions roadside plants can be subjected to. New landscaping may include colorful rocks, small bushes, “ornamental trees” and more.

“Pride Inc. believes this is money well spent and is also willing to be a financial contributor to this community project,” Merrill said. “The job has been awarded to the Alton company Sisk Lawn and Landscaping. Pride, the parks department, and Cory Jobe [have] offered to oversee the coordination and maintaining this landscaping project. Greg Caffey and Mike Haynes were both in support of the project when we … presented it to them in great detail. Pride is hopeful that you will be in support of this project.”

Alderwoman Carolyn MacAfee announced at the meeting that she’ll introduce a resolution to the City Council on Wednesday to consider and/or approve the use of about $18,000 in tourism funds to help finance the landscaping project. MacAfee added she’ll be asking for a suspension of the rules to expedite the item’s passage since contractors are “ready to go” on the project.

A full recording of the March 25, 2024 Alton Committee of the Whole meeting is available at the top of this story, on Riverbender.com/video, or on the Riverbender.com Facebook page.

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