The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

June 6, 2014

Overpass opening

Roadway closed for three years

The last person to go through the Fairchild Subway before it was filled in will be the first of the public to go over the new Fairchild Street Overpass on Saturday.

Former alderwoman Lois Cooper will be the first person to travel on the overpass at the ribbon cutting at noon Saturday. The overpass then will be open to the public following the ceremony.

WATCH the first people cross the overpass after the ribbon cutting

The public is invited to attend the ribbon cutting at the intersection of Fairchild Street and Bowman Avenue.

The ceremony will feature guest speakers and a parade of city vehicles over the overpass. In addition to Mayor Scott Eisenhauer, state Rep. Chad Hays also is expected to attend. Other state and federal legislators also have been invited to attend.

Cooper said she considers this the “best and largest birthday celebration for this old lady.” Cooper will be 81 on Monday. She grew up in the Germantown area and walked to school through the subway.

Her grandfather, Laurence, “Potsy” Garretson, also ran the C&EI depot restaurant Dixie Flagler No. 1 in the 1940s.

“I think proceeding over this new bridge is one of the greatest events of my life,” Cooper said. “Nature took the subway, but is letting this Germantown kid be honored as being the first of the public arena to go over the new bridge.”

She added she will be wearing green on Saturday. Green stands for go.

“We will go for the mayor and his city managers and employees and all involved in the construction, and tax payers. Go forward in safety over our new bridge,” she said.

David Schnelle, Danville Urban Services director, said last-minute work being finished this week has included final asphalt being placed, pavement striping and sidewalk, landscaping and other work still must be done after the roadway is open to the public.

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