Traffic moves along School Street on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, in Rockford. (Photo by Kevin Haas/Rock River Current)
By Kevin Haas
Rock River Current
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ROCKFORD — The city will begin rebuilding one of its roughest stretches of roadway in one week.

The first phase of the Whitman and School streets reconstruction project will start Monday, April 1. That phase will rebuild School Street from Kilburn Avenue to Avon Street. Construction is expected to last through August.

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The city’s pavement condition index ranks Whitman, which turns into School at Kilburn, as one of the worst in the city.

The project does more than create a smooth driving surface. There will also be new curb and gutter, new sidewalks, new traffic signals and a multiuse path.

The city will also replace a 100-year-old water main, replace lead service lines and address issues with flooding with storm sewer improvements. It is also working with Four Rivers Sanitation Authority to replace sanitary sewers.

Future phases rebuild Whitman from Kilburn to Court Street, just before the bridge. The intersection at Whitman and Ridge Avenue will be converted into a single-lane roundabout as part of future phases.

The stretch will also go on a so-called “road diet,” reducing it from two lanes in each direction to three lanes across. The city says the goal of that is to control speeds and improve safety.

The $9.6 million project was awarded to N-Trak Group of Loves Park last month. The project is funded by the city’s 1% infrastructure sales tax, along with its water replacement improvement account and the Four Rivers Sanitation Authority.

School Street will be closed to through traffic while the first phase of the work is underway.

Residents will have full access to their homes during the closure and all businesses remain open and accessible throughout the construction, the city said Monday in a news release. The city said there will be no interruption to mail services, deliveries, trash pickup and emergency services.

This article is by Kevin Haas. Email him at or follow him on X at @KevinMHaas or Instagram @thekevinhaas and Threads @thekevinhaas

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