IDOT releases construction program list

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Oct. 22, 2019 12:50 am Updated: Oct. 22, 2019 12:52 am

QUINCY -- Numerous wish-list projects from local leaders in Adams, Hancock, Pike, Brown, Scott, Morgan counties were included in the Illinois Department of Transportation five-year construction program that was announced Monday by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker.

One project not included in the list was the expansion of Ill. 57 from a two-lane to a four-lane highway from Quincy to the highway's interchange with Interstate 172 near Fall Creek. The proposed expansion, which was backed by municipal and county elected officials and civic leaders, was expected to cost the state $250 million.

"Obviously, this means we just have to do more work in Springfield to keep this on the radar of the administration and the legislature," said Quincy's Director of Planning Chuck Bevelheimer. "It is a big project -- and an expensive one -- but we have a good team working on this issue, so we are going to keep working to move this issue forward."

Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore struck a similar tone following the announcement of the five-year transportation plan.

"This is a community effort that really began just this year," Moore said. "With a project as big as this, you first have to get it on the state's radar, and I think we have done a good job as a community in communicating with our state's leaders, both Democrats and Republicans, about the need for expanding Ill. 57. It is my understanding that this plan is going to be updated on a yearly basis, so I think we need to continue to educate and talk about why expanding Ill. 57 is not just a priority for Quincy but for the state as a whole."

While two of the city's biggest transportation projects -- the expansion of Ill. 57 and the replacement of Quincy's Memorial Bridge -- were not included in the project, Moore said he appreciated how many of the city's other transportation priorities were included in the list. In total, the list includes $64.6 million in transportation improvements in Quincy and in Adams County. This includes $1.62 million for work on the Quincy Bayview Bridge; $16.6 million for improvements and repairs to Quincy's Memorial Bridge, and $6.4 million for resurfacing 7.2 miles of Ill. 57.

"I am sure that every community, large and small, in the state of Illinois had a lot of asks of the state when it comes to this list," Moore said. "And while Ill. 57 wasn't included in the list, I don't think anyone can say that Quincy was ignored. The replacement of Memorial Bridge is on the horizon. We are going to see lots of investment at the Illinois Veterans Home, which is going to help us retain jobs in our community for at least a decade. I think we have to thank the governor and the general assembly for investing more in downstate. For us as downstaters, we have a lot of transportation needs and I think the state did a good job of trying to meet as many needs as possible with this plan."

Quincy Alderman Benjamin Uzelac, D-7, said he appreciated that IDOT was making improvements to resurface the roadway of Ill. 57.

The transportation project list also includes $3.65 million for the construction of a new bridge at Mill Creek in Marblehead; $1.5 million for a new bridge over Haskness Creek on Ill. 57 at Bluff Hall; and $2.1 million for resurfacing of Ill. 96 from Bear Creek to Birch Street in Ursa.

One of the more notable regional projects included in the five-year transportation plan are $84.2 million for the engineering report, design, construction of a new bridge at Florence in Scott County. This amount also includes land acquisition and the cost of moving various utilities. The new bridge on Ill. 100 would replace a bridge that is routinely closed due to flooding.

As a region, the five-year plan provides more than $228 million for specific transportation projects in Adams, Pike, Brown, Scott, and Hancock counties. An additional $49 million is also included in the plan for region wide initiatives and programs. These dollars are not targeted for specific roadways, but rather for general purposes like utility adjustment, engineering assessments and reports, and repaving of highways and roadways.

A complete list of the projects included in the new five-year plan are available online.

In Pike County, the state plans to spend $4.1 million on resurfacing Ill. 107 from Ill. 104 to Wall Street in Griggsville; $1.28 million on the design and construction of a new Union Street Bridge spanning Spring Creek in Nebo; $1.6 million on a new bridge at Plum Point Slough on U.S. Hwy. 54 near Two Rivers Marina, and $35,000 to seal the Mark Twain Memorial Bridge at Hannibal.

In Pittsfield, the state plans to spend $3.65 million on a variety of projects including improving lighting along Hwy. 54 and street resurfacing along Hwy. 54 from Monroe Street to Illinois Street.

Among the projects included in state's plan for Hancock County are spending $10 million on resurfacing the Mississippi River bridge at Keokuk; $1.7 million for a new bridge over Tyson Creek on Ill. 96 near Niota; $1.71 million for a new bridge over Sheridan Creek on Ill. 96 near Nauvoo. In total, the transportation plan includes $37,120,000 of transportation projects for Hancock County.

The transportation project list includes $11.246 million in projects in Brown County.