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Sections of four of the city’s most congested roads — North Dirksen Parkway, Wabash Avenue, South Sixth Street and Interstate 55 — need more lanes, updated traffic signals and bigger interchanges.
Work should begin next summer on $19.5 million worth of improvements to Wabash Avenue on the west side of Springfield and next spring on $9 million worth of upgrades to Dirksen Parkway north of Clear Lake Avenue.
Studies continue on elimination of I-55 and South Sixth Street bottlenecks. Construction likely is years away.
“The traffic counts have been going up with the development out north, and the same out west,” Public Works Director Mark Mahoney said. “These projects are going to help with our traffic flow.”
Mahoney said the projects fit into the larger long-term plan to improve east-west traffic flow by extending Stanford Avenue from Fox Bridge Road to Taylor Avenue on the near-south side and north-south traffic by extending 11th Street to complete a corridor to University of Illinois Springfield.
Negotiations continue for 11th Street right-of-way, while land acquisition should begin soon for the Stanford extension, said city engineer Nate Bottom.
“We’re encouraged by the progress,” Bottom said. “It’s a very important project for the city.”
Dirksen first up
Preliminary work has begun on elimination of the Dirksen Parkway bottleneck north of Clear Lake Avenue.
“Utility relocations have begun on the job site,” Illinois Department of Transportation spokeswoman Paris Ervin wrote in an email.
The project will add two lanes, a bidirectional turn lane, sidewalks and bike lanes between Clear Lake and Ridge avenues. Work is scheduled to begin next spring and to be completed in the fall of 2015.
IDOT is scheduled to open bids for the Wabash Avenue project next spring, Ervin said. Work should begin in late spring or early summer and should be completed in late 2015 or early 2016.
Plans are to widen Wabash Avenue from three lanes to five from Koke Mill Road in Springfield to just west of Interstate 72. The work includes wide shoulders, sidewalks and bike lanes.
Upgraded traffic signals and road realignments also are planned.
I-55, Sixth Street studies
A three-year study on elimination of the I-55 bottleneck — the interstate drops from six lanes to four between Sherman and the Sixth Street interchange in Springfield — should be completed in 2015, according to IDOT.
In addition to six lanes, major interchanges along the section would be rebuilt to meet modern traffic safety standards.
If you think you may be affected by these projects and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at www.landownerattorneys.com.
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