BENTON – State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) says long overdue highway funding is finally coming to Southern Illinois. Severin released information this week provided by the Illinois Department of Transportation regarding
“This week, the tIllinois Department of Transportation announced an ongoing and future expansion of Interstate 57 from Mount Vernon to Johnston City,” Severin said. “This investment and expansion will not only improve safety and reduce congestion but help improve economic growth throughout the state,” Severin said.
Severin says the project is separated into six segments, representing a total investment of $257.8 million for southern Illinois, with $224 million coming from the 2019 Rebuild Illinois capital program. The program was the first major capital investment program passed in over a decade. Severin says his support helped bring dollars home to Southern Illinois that will create jobs and improve transportation and public safety.
“I was a supporter of the capital program so that we can get Illinois moving in the right direction to fix our crumbling infrastructure,” Severin said. “I helped secure more than $1 billion in road projects just like this one that we’ll benefit from in Southern Illinois for decades to come. When we invest, we grow, and that’s what Southern Illinois needs.”
By undertaking the I-57 expansion and other projects in the years to come, Severin says IDOT will ultimately create safer roads for Jefferson, Franklin and Williamson counties.”
Five of the six I-57 expansion segments are ongoing or upcoming, with one already completed. Each segment includes widening I-57 to three lanes in each direction and replacing key bridges:
• Milepost 63 to milepost 66 with new structures over Pond Creek, scheduled for completion in the fall of 2022.
• Milepost 67 to milepost 75 with new structures over Big Muddy River, scheduled to start in 2022.
• Milepost 75 to milepost 85 with new structures over Marcum Branch and Gun Creek, scheduled to start in 2024.
• Milepost 85 to milepost 92 with new structures over Dodds Creek, scheduled to start in 2023.
• Milepost 58.6 to milepost 63 widening to three lanes in each direction was completed in fall 2020.
• The reconstruction of the I-57/64/Illinois 15 interchange is scheduled to start in 2025.
In addition, later this year IDOT is embarking on a major renovation of the Trail of Tears rest areas on I-57 in Union County, which includes greatly expanding and enhancing truck parking.
Motorists can expect delays and should allow for extra time when traveling through these and all other work zones. Drivers are urged to pay attention to changed conditions and signs, watch for traffic signals, be aware of width restrictions, refrain from using mobile devices and be alert for workers and equipment.
Severin says the recently announced projects represent a significant investment in Jefferson, Franklin and Williamson counties that will improve safety, mobility and create economic opportunity for years to come on one of the country’s critical freight and travel corridors.
Over the next six years, IDOT plans to improve more than 3,300 miles of highway and 8.4 million square feet of bridge deck as part of the Rebuild Illinois capital program. Year one included approximately $2.7 billion of improvements statewide on 1,706 miles of highway, 128 bridges and 228 additional safety improvements.