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Caution: Road work ahead

Published: Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 4:52 p.m. CST • Updated: Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 4:56 p.m. CST

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Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part series on road and bridge work planned for the Bureau County area during the next five years.

PERU — The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) held a meeting this week to look for public input on the road and bridge projects planned for the next six years.

IDOT’s District 3 encompasses Bureau and eight other counties in East Central Illinois. All together, there are 1,691 miles of highways, 773 bridges and 10.9 million vehicle miles of travel daily in the district.

The program for state and local highways will average $1.53 billion annually for the Fiscal Year 2013-18 period. During that time, IDOT expects to accomplish 54 miles of interstate maintenance, 110 miles of non-interstate maintenance, 23 interstate bridge maintenance, 37 non-interstate bridge maintenance, 49 miles of minor structure repair to area bridges, five miles of congestion mitigation, and 16 miles of roads for system expansion.

The proposed multi-year program (MYP) is based on current estimates of local, federal and state funding, including funding from Gov. Pat Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital program, enacted in 2009. The MYP for the current FY 2013-18 totals about $9.2 billion and focuses on maintenance and improvement of the existing state road system.

Julia Messina, IDOT community relations manager, said it’s good for residents to attend meetings like the one held this week.

“If the people come to the early planning stages of IDOT’s multi-year plan, they’ll have a better idea of what the future holds for them,” she said. “They’ll be able to offer their input to the engineers, and maybe have an impact on what happens in the future in their area.”

IDOT programming engineer Thomas Magolan said funding levels have gone down for the department.

The Fiscal Year 2012-17 Proposed Highway Improvement Program totaled $11.525 billion and included plans to spend $2.952 billion in the current fiscal year.

“It’s a real challenge for us,” Magolan said. “Some projects had to leave the program.”

The first multi-year highway program was for the FY 1999-2003, and a new program is released each year. For each program, the department re-analyzes available funding, project schedules and needs/priorities and publishes a revised list.

Just because a project appears on the multi-year program doesn’t mean it will be accomplished soon. Included in the program is the number of years a project has appeared in the multi-year program, and some projects have been there quite a while.

Projects on the 2013-18 list are either designated for 2013 or for sometime during 2014-18. The 2013 projects are planned for implementation next year.

Magolan said the biggest new project on the list is the $24.3 million Route 178 bridge over the Illinois River south of Utica. Engineering costs of $200,000 are designated for 2013.

Magolan said the cycle for the FY 2014-19 year program will start in December, and feedback is always appreciated.

“We’re glad to get comments,” he said. “It’s where we are now and for the future, too, and we get some very good feedback.”

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

On the drawing board for Bureau County

IDOT’s Bureau County dollars for its five-year program is $63,105,000.

Major projects of interest tentatively scheduled during the 2013-18 timeframe include:

• Interstate 80 from east of Illinois 40 to west of Route 26. Resurfacing on 10.1 miles and bridge repair, $17.5 million.

• Illinois 26 from south of the Red Covered Bridge Road to Interstate 80. Additional lanes for .7 miles, intersection reconstruction, curb and gutter, storm sewer and utility adjustments, $3.4 million.

* Illinois 89 over the Illinois River at Spring Valley. $25.7 million.

Comments can be submitted to Illinois Department of Transportation, District 3, 700 E. Norris Drive, Ottawa, IL 61350, by Nov. 1.

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