IDOT pleased with 2021 progress – Alton Telegraph

Posted: December 29, 2021 at 10:24 am

SPRINGFIELD Officials with the Illinois Department of Transportation are pleased with the major projects delivered or coming to life across the state in 2021.

The Interstate 255 rebuild in Madison County, one of the first Rebuild Illinois projects to fix one of the worst roads in the state, won top honors for technology and innovation from the Midwest chapter of the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials.

This past year was perhaps the most eventful in the history of IDOT, said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. "Because of Rebuild Illinois, we made history in 2021 with generational improvements to highways, bridges, rail, transit, waterways, airports as well as bike and pedestrian infrastructure.

"We head into 2022 prepared to build an even safer, more equitable transportation system for all of Illinois.

IDOT was able to manage about $2.4 billion in improvements to 1,314 miles of highway and 142 bridges, as well as 194 safety improvements, in the 2021 fiscal year.

Additionally, with the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed last month, Illinois is estimated to receive about $17.8 billion over the next five years.

The new $1.2 billion Interstate 74 Mississippi River bridge in the Quad Cities opened to traffic Dec. 3 following four years of construction and a ribbon-cutting led by the governor. A joint project with Iowa, the bridge is one of the biggest projects in state history.

Construction wrapped up on expanding I-80 to six lanes between Interstate 355 and U.S. 30 in Joliet and New Lenox. The work was tied to the reconstruction of the U.S. 30 interchange and a prelude to six-year plan to rebuild 16 miles of I-80 a $1.2 billion project that is currently in progress.

In Champaign-Urbana, construction began on rebuilding the I-57/74 interchange. The $216.8 million project replaces the more than 50-year-old original interchange and will provide safer and more efficient movement of freight and people.

Work advanced on replacing the eastbound McClugage Bridge that carries U.S. 150 in Peoria. One of six bridges spanning the Illinois River in the Peoria area, the $167 million project ended the year about 40% complete. The new structure will improve capacity, increase safety, reduce travel times and provide multimodal access with bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.

In southern Illinois, work will be underway in January on a $67.6 million expansion of nine miles of I-57 north of Illinois 149 to south of Illinois 154. The project continues the ongoing effort to expand I-57 from four to six lanes in West Frankfort.

Lincoln Service, Carl Sandburg/Illinois Zephyr and Illini/Saluki state-supported Amtrak trains resumed full service in July after being limited due to COVID-19. In November, communities along the Illinois Zephyr celebrated the 50th anniversary of the service connecting Chicago and Quincy.

Ground was broken on a new federal and state effort with several railroads to reconfigure an outdated network of tracks and signals while replacing the 97-year-old Lenox Tower in the Metro East. The project, expected to conclude in 2022, is modernizing rail operations, safety and mobility.

In December, a new schedule was implemented for Lincoln Service trains to reflect higher 90 mph speeds as a result of improvements made along the Chicago-St. Louis corridor. Work continues toward the ultimate goal of increasing speeds to 110 mph by 2023. Testing of the new Siemens Venture passenger rail cars occurred, with the cars expected to go into service in early 2022 in Illinois and other Midwest states.

Additionally, more than 50 Alternative Fuels Corridor signs were posted on interstates statewide to guide motorists to electric vehicle charging stations. The Federal Highway Administration has designated 145,000 miles of interstate for promoting alternative fuels, including along Interstates 39, 55, 70, 74, 80, 90 and 94 in Illinois.

An improved winter road conditions map debuted on the popular Getting Around Illinois website. The map now offers greater detail into how weather events are impacting roads under the jurisdictions of the more than 120 snow-and-ice team sections that work out of

Efforts by IDOT to promote pollinator habitat and the monarch butterfly continued going strong in 2021 with the opening of the Litchfield Route 66 Prairie. The result of a four-year partnership between IDOT and local Montgomery County environmental groups, the 10-acre prairie thats part of the Route 66 Monarch Flyway is home to more than 200 native plant species and several types of large and small animals.

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IDOT pleased with 2021 progress - Alton Telegraph

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