Barry city officials work to make downtown safer for pedestrians

Published: Nov. 19, 2022 at 7:26 PM CST
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BARRY, Ill. (WGEM) - Improvements are underway in historic downtown Barry, Illinois.

Recently, the library and museum at 880 Bainbridge St. had its leaky roof replaced for the first time in a century.

City officials said the roof replacement cost approximately $100,000 less than they budgeted. That leftover money will go back toward various downtown improvements.

One improvement the city is going to work on is leveling out uneven sidewalks downtown.

City administrator Jeff Hogge said a trip hazard for pedestrian-friendly downtown and events like Barry’s annual Apple Festival that draws in thousands each year poses a risk for injuries.

“Over time, we had the sidewalks in our downtown historical area sink,” Hogge said.

Hogge said the city will pay contractors approximately $9,000 to level out the sidewalks.

“The concrete for it is still in very good condition,” Hogge said. “So we really didn’t have to go out there and bust it all out.”

April Meyer, who is one of the family members that operates Baker Auto Body said many pedestrians pass by the business each day.

“There’s about three that I see every morning walk by here,” Meyer said. “A couple are not so steady and might be looking at something else making it very easy to trip.”

Meyer said she additionally sees a lot of traffic go by and said she hopes the city can put some of those extra dollars to good use like fixing up some eyesores in her driveway, backside of her building or neighboring parking lot.

“We have been graced with funding for our interior,” Meyer said. “But I would like to see more outside improvements.”

Hogge said he expects contractors to level the sidewalk in January and should only take a day to complete.

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