Route 3 Project Continues

Despite some recent bouts of stormy weather, an Illinois Department of Transportation engineer said the project to widen and add other traffic improvements to Route 3 in Waterloo remains on schedule to be completed at the end of 2016.

In total, the entire Waterloo Route 3 improvement project involves four miles of roadway from North Market Street to South Market Street at a cost of $21.2 million. The relocation of Vandebrook Drive to connect with South Market as part of the project was completed last summer.

The current two-lane highway is being reconstructed into a four-lane thoroughfare with turn lanes or flush medians installed as required.

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

IDOT said current work items for the contracting firm, Illinois Excavators of Ruma, include storm sewer and inlet installation, the pouring of curbs and driveways, and asphalt paving on the west side widening portion of the project.
The work crew typically consists of up to 12 people, IDOT said.

Regarding the pedestrian tunnel, workers began to drive sheet pile in early December and began excavating in mid-December. The floor was poured on Jan. 20 and the walls were poured in mid-February. The top portion of the tunnel was poured last Wednesday, according to IDOT.

Considering the project was awarded to the contract in July 2013, IDOT said work is moving along at a steady pace.
Most utility conflicts were not resolved until July 2014, and the contractor was able to jump around and work off the roadway in different locations where utilities were not in conflict.

Traffic was shifted to the east side of Route 3, where it remains currently, last June. Dirt excavation for the pavement widening and storm sewer installation were able to progress after the utility conflicts were finally resolved last July.
For more on the project, visit online at

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Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.
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