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PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A farmers market has opened in central Illinois despite the continued demolition of a nearby riverfront platform.

Sharon Gramm, the executive director of the Peoria Riverfront Association, told the Peoria Journal Star that the Riverfront Market started its 15th season Saturday with about 80 vendors.

Officials were concerned that the demolition of the Riverfront Village platform would threaten the event’s success, Gramm said. But the city and the demolition crew worked to make sure the market could open successfully, she said.

“They’ve done a nice job on the demolition. They worked really hard to make sure our space was available,” Gramm said.

The city also added parking spaces downtown to make up for the loss of 200 parking spaces under the platform.

Experienced union operators have allowed for the project to continue on time, said Andy Weeks, the general manager of N.E. Finch Co., the company handling the demolition. The project has gone smoothly despite a two week delay due to the weather, he said.

“This type of job is right in our wheelhouse. The delay was challenging because we had a target date of May 18 for the paved area to be ready for the Riverfront Market,” Weeks said.

The platform, built in 1999, is a man-made overlook of the Illinois River.

Demolition is expected to be completed by June 15, Weeks said.


This story has been corrected to show that the farmers market is not new.


Information from: Journal Star,