DANVILLE — City officials are anticipating changes to the entrances of Lowe's and Tractor Supply on North Vermilion Street to accommodate the increase in traffic to the Meijer development.
Danville City Engineer David Schnelle said the two entrances need to be aligned, or directly across Vermilion from each other, to prevent the Illinois Department of Transportation requiring a median in the middle of North Vermilion Street. Currently the Lowe's entrance sits slightly north of the Tractor Supply entrance across the street and that could cause left-turn conflicts in the designated turn lane, especially with the increase in traffic expected when the Meijer store opens.
Meijer plans to build a new store and convenience store/gas station immediately south of the former K's Merchandise site, where Kohl's and T.J. Maxx are both planning new stores. The stoplight entrance at Boiling Springs Road and North Vermilion Street will be the main entrance to Kohl's and T.J. Maxx and will also include access to Meijer. But Meijer also will be accessible from the Tractor Supply entrance on the south end of the development.
A stoplight will not be necessary at the Tractor Supply entrance, Schnelle said. But to avoid putting a median in the middle of Vermilion Street, he said, the plan is to move the Lowe's entrance south and possibly the Tractor Supply entrance north so the entrances are directly across from each other, eliminating possible conflicts between two vehicles turning left in the turn lane.
City officials have agreed to allow Woolpert Engineers, the firm that's working on the Meijer development, to do the engineering for the entrance changes, according to Schnelle, because Woolpert is already handling engineering for other aspects of the project.
The city council's public works committee will consider Tuesday night an agreement between the city and Woolpert for the additional engineering work required to alter the entrances. The committee meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the municipal building, 17 W. Main St., Danville.
The resolution that will be considered doesn't include a cost for the additional engineering, but Public Works Director Doug Ahrens said the city hopes it can access some economic development grants through the state to pay for the engineering work.
"That's not guaranteed, but we will be applying for them," he said.
On Tuesday, the public works committee will also consider putting stop signs at the intersection of Country Club Drive and Denvale Drive, which is currently an uncontrolled intersection. Schnelle said it was a request from the Danville Police Department and some residents, so the city sought neighborhood input and decided it would be best to put stop signs, making Denvale Drive the through street with stop signs on Country Club Drive. Schnelle said it's not been an accident-prone site, but there is potential for that.
"It looks like either leg of the intersection could be the through street," he said.