Route 3 project slows for winter, but still on track

Pictured is a shared-use underpass at Route 157 in Glen Carbon, which is similar to one to be installed as part of the Route 3 project in Waterloo. (submitted photo)

Work on phase one of Route 3 improvements in Waterloo has been halted for the most part due to colder temperatures, but the project remains on schedule.

Matt Rodewald, project manager for Illinois Excavators, which is performing the work, said Tuesday they had hoped to get asphalt poured on the new road leading to the Vandebrook subdivision from South Market Street before winter set in. The recent cold snap prevented that from happening, Rodewald explained, as asphalt work requires temperatures of “40 degrees and rising” for an extended period.

Workers have until the end of 2014 to complete phase one of the Route 3 improvements, and Rodewald said they may be done by summer.

Workers will work on traffic signals and other elements of phase one until the spring, when they can pour the asphalt.

Phase one work involves the relocation of Vandebrook Drive to connect with Route 3 at South Market Street, along with road widening on Route 3 to near Library Street. The current roadway leading to Vandebrook will be closed off as part of the project.

As for the much larger phase two portion, Rodewald said they will perform some tasks this winter, such as box culvert extensions and pipe extensions once the city utilities have been relocated.

“Illinois Excavators does plan to install drainage pipes in the north phase of Route 3 this winter,” Waterloo public works director Tim Birk added.

Workers may also begin construction this winter on the shared use underpass to be located just north of Library Street, Rodewald said.

The scheduled completion date for phase two is not until the end of 2016, but Rodewald said he “hope(s) it doesn’t take us that long.”

In total, the Route 3 improvement project involves 4.3 miles of roadway from North Market Street to South Market Street, plus the relocation of Vandebrook Drive.

The current two-lane highway will be reconstructed into a four-lane thoroughfare, with turn lanes or flush medians added as required.

Other features will include a roundabout just west of Route 3 on Park Street near the Monroe County Farm Bureau office, as well as a stoplight at Illinois Avenue and a 10-foot-wide shared use path for walkers and bicyclists.

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