EFFINGHAM — More talk about the future Meijer store was addressed during an Effingham City Council this week, as bid letting for Ford Avenue work related to that project will be June 11.
The proposed store will be built near Kohl’s and will face Ford Avenue. Oak Point Drive will separate Meijer and Kohl’s. The main store will be built on about 21.5 acres, with three smaller out-lots ranging between about three acres to a half acre in size for future development.
In the agreement with the City of Effingham, Meijer officials will be designing the road improvements and reimbursing the city up to $600,000 for the work. The city will be handling the bidding and overseeing of the road project.
Some of those smaller out lots are still for sale and have signs advertising them on the property.
“This is the road project that is associated with the new Meijer coming here in a couple years,” said Public Works Director Jeremy Heuerman. “It involves widening out Ford (Avenue) from Raney Street to the Ford dealership, just west of the Kohl's entrance. We will also be putting in traffic signals at Oak Point Drive and Ford Avenue.”
Heuerman said Meijer plans to make a significant investment in the road work, which shows its commitment to Effingham.
“They purchased the property and are looking at doing these road improvements,” Heuerman said after Tuesday's meeting. “They have made a very large investment for this project already.”
Back in December 2017, it was announced that the Meijer store construction would be delayed for at least two years following setbacks in satisfying a wetland compensation requirement.
At that time, construction was expected to have begun in early 2018, but was pushed back to begin in 2020. The infrastructure road work is expected to be this year.
The extensive road improvements slated include widening Ford Avenue in order to add a center turn lane for the influx of traffic expected. Proposed road improvements also include the installation of four-way traffic lights, a 10-foot-wide sidewalk, street lights, as well as left and right turn lanes at the intersection of Ford Avenue and Oak Point Drive.
Without any major future changes, the store could open in 2021.
Dawn Schabbing can be reached at email@example.com or 217-347-7151, ext. 138