New I-255 exit gets $33M - Republic-Times | News

New I-255 exit gets $33M

By on July 24, 2019 at 12:52 pm

The Illinois General Assembly passed a $45 billion capital plan earlier this year and some of that money will be coming to this area. 

Although the state is still determining where all the funds will go, it has released information on some larger projects for various parts of the state. 

Locally, $33 million is allocated for a new I-255 interchange at Dupo with connection to Davis Street Ferry Road to facilitate industrial and commercial growth. 

Dupo Mayor Jerry Wilson said the village is already surveying to see exactly where the interchange would go and what properties and roads it would impact. 

“We are moving forward with the engineering on that piece,” he said. 

The interchange has been in the works for over a decade, with the most recent effort happening in 2016 when Dupo hosted a public information meeting on the topic. 

Then, the proposal called for a cloverleaf interchange located about 2,300 feet north of the Davis Street Ferry overpass just outside of Columbia. 

That proposal called for approximately 31 acres of right-of-way and 18 residential relocations.

Old State Route 3 and Bluffview Drive would have also been relocated to accommodate construction of the new exit, which would replace the current exit nine into Dupo.

The total cost was estimated at $36.3 million, with $17.5 million coming via a federal transportation grant awarded several years ago.

Those plans may all change with this new project, but Dupo will not know until surveying is done in October. 

Wilson said it was necessary to start over on the project because there were errors in previous work, such as water retention not being factored into the plans.  

“I just took it from scratch and we started over to make sure everything was laid out the way it should be,” Wilson explained. “It’s been a long two years to get this where it’s at.”

The village does have a few certainties, though, including that it will have those federal funds because Wilson kept seeking extensions. 

“We do have the funding for it, so right now we’re just moving forward with surveying, soil samples and so forth,” he said. 

Additionally, the plan is for the interchange to be in a diamond design.

“It’s the most advanced interchange,” Wilson noted.

A final piece the village knows is that funding for the project will come at least in part from its recently established business district.

That started collecting money in April, bringing in about $9,000 for Dupo. 

“Some of those funds would go for the new interchange development,” Wilson said.  

Before that development occurs, the village would hold a town meeting to inform residents what areas would be affected once the surveying determines that. 

Next, a third party would negotiate with property owners to buy pieces of land this interchange would occupy. 

At best, construction would begin in early-mid 2021, Wilson said. 

When completed, Wilson said the interchange will benefit the entire area. 

“I’m glad to see that the state is putting money into southern Illinois,” he said. “This is not just for Dupo. This affects St. Clair County, Monroe County, Columbia, East Carondelet. This affects a lot of people. If we can get this on the ground and get this moving, it’s great for all of southern Illinois.”

Another project included in the capital bill that should help southern Illinois is $146 million earmarked for extensive bridge, ramp and shoulder repairs, along with road resurfacing. That work would be done on I-255 from Route 3 to Collinsville Road. 

Overall, the capital plan allocates $33.2 billion to spend on transportation projects over six years, with $25.3 billion going toward roads and bridges.  

The remaining transportation money will fund projects relating to mass transit, rail, aeronautics, ports and more. 

The other money in the capital plan will go toward public building projects and such. 

As of right now, Monroe County will not see any funding as large as Dupo, though Waterloo and Columbia will get $325,000 each for infrastructure improvements. 

Dupo will also receive $225,000 for that purpose. 

James Moss