BELLEVILLE, Ill. – The popular Veterans Memorial Fountain in Belleville Public Square will be turned off on Tuesday as Illinois American Water begins work to install a new water main.

“It will start Tuesday, June 6, and we are going to be replacing about 1,200 feet of aging waterline,” said Terry Mackin, Illinois American Water. “…The project starts tomorrow and, hopefully, it will be done by September.”

Illinois Route 159, from Washington Street to A Street, will be closed as the new water main is installed under the public square.

“It’s time to get it started. We worked closely with the city; with the chamber (of commerce),” Mackin said. “This is the pocket of time to do it. It won’t interfere with any festivals, city events. We realize it is a temporary inconvenience, but very, very important that we get it done.”

The water lines under the fountain are 75 years old and in need of replacement. A marked detour will be in place to safely guide motorists around the closure.

The Belleville Chamber of Commerce is encouraging customers to continue to support downtown businesses as the three-month project will bring traffic to a halt around the square. 

“Main Street on both sides,” Mackin said. “West Main and East Main. We’ll have signage, very visible. All the businesses will be open. We encourage residents to please come to downtown Belleville. Everything will be open, it’s just a few of the roads will be closed temporarily.”

Drivers are urged to pay close attention to changed conditions and signs in the work zones and be alert for workers and equipment.