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Public Invited to Hearing on I-55 Construction

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has announced an upcoming public hearing to discuss a proposed project aimed at improving traffic flow and addressing congestion on Interstate 55 and Interstate 72 in the vicinity of Springfield. With an estimated cost of $802 million, the ambitious plan includes the addition of new lanes and the reconstruction of several interchanges.

The primary objective of the hearing, scheduled for Tuesday, June 13, is to present the preferred design for the project and gather valuable feedback from the public. IDOT has extended an open invitation to all interested parties, encouraging them to review project plans, explore exhibits, watch a comprehensive video presentation, and engage in discussions with IDOT staff and consultants.

Funding for the project's first phase, which encompasses capacity expansion and other enhancements on I-55 from north of Sangamon Avenue to the Williamsville weigh station, has already been approved through Gov. JB Pritzker's Rebuild Illinois capital program. A substantial $150 million has been allocated for this phase, which will result in three lanes in each direction to Lincoln, connecting with the wider I-55 north of Springfield. Construction is anticipated to commence in 2024, starting with the reconstruction of bridges over the Sangamon River. A detailed timeline for the project is expected to be finalized in the coming months.

The subsequent phases, estimated to exceed $650 million in costs, involve the extension of the third lane in both directions of I-55 and I-72, stretching from north of Sangamon Avenue to Veterans Parkway (Illinois 4). Additionally, several interchanges, including those with Sixth Street/I-72, Stevenson Drive, South Grand Avenue, Clear Lake Avenue/I-72, and Sangamon Avenue, will undergo reconstruction. Notably, further work will be carried out on I-55 to Toronto Road to accommodate the redevelopment of the Sixth Street/I-72 interchange. Funding for these construction phases is yet to be identified.

IDOT Region 4 Engineer Jeff Myers expressed his optimism about the project, stating, "Improving I-55 and I-72 around Springfield will enhance safety, increase reliability, and ease congestion. A lot of consideration and public input has gone into the design of this project. I encourage anyone interested in learning more about the future of Springfield to attend."

The initial planning for these improvements dates back to 2011, but progress had been impeded by a lack of funding. However, with the passage of the Rebuild Illinois program in 2019, this significant infrastructure endeavor can now move forward, promising a brighter future for motorists in and around Springfield.


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