City of Belleville Celebrates Route 15 Expansion with Ribbon Cutting

Belleville, Illinois, August 30, 2006 – On Wednesday, August 30th at 10:00 a.m. the City of Belleville and the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce conducted a ribbon cutting for the newly completed intersection on Illinois Route 15 at South 17th Street.

The intersection's construction and associated street, sewer, and water improvements mark the culmination of two plus years of the City's efforts to retain two car dealerships, O.C. Joseph, Inc. and Wagner Motor Car Company in Belleville. O. C. Joseph, Belleville's Chrysler dealer just recently opened its new $6 million facility at the intersection. Wagner Motor Car, which sells Buick, GMC, and Pontiac car lines is under construction and projects opening of the new facility in the Spring of 2007.

According to Mayor Mark W. Eckert, the City has invested in excess of $4,500,000.00 in public infrastructure to not only retain two existing businesses but set up 350 – 500 acres for commercial development. Further, Eckert said it is no coincidence that Belleville Crossing, a 400,000 square foot DESCO retail shopping center development, anchored by Target and Home Depot, and in the immediate vicinity of the newly opened intersection, is projected to be open in the Fall of 2007.

Mayor Eckert credits the vision of previous Mayor, Mark Kern and the City Council for providing oversized sewer to the new campus of Belleville West High School as the springboard for realizing the exploding development in the area. Ultimately, South 17th Street is planned to be a major north-south thoroughfare that will connect Illinois Route 15 to West Main Street in Belleville.

In addition to the commercial development, the area has four (4) subdivisions planned, with two having commercial components fronting Frank Scott Parkway. Because of these developments, Frank Scott Parkway will be widened to 3 lanes from Route 15 to Concordia Road in conjunction with the County's improvements on Frank Scott Parkway South to Illinois 158.

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