Curious crowd shows up to check out Illinois 57 plans

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QUINCY — The conference room at Downtown Quincy’s Atrium hotel was filled with charts, maps and big screens Thursday evening showing potential improvements for Illinois 57 between Broadway and I-172.

The project, which has an overall price tag of about $75 million, appears to have been scaled down in order to make it more feasible.

For example, four lanes are no longer planned for much of the nearly 13 mile stretch, instead calling for an expanded three lane route. A roundabout at 4th and York, where the new bridge to replace Memorial Bridge is expected to go, was also scrapped.

There is also a much smaller Marblehead bypass than previously planned as it now consists of a pair of exits, which eliminates a longer, more expensive bridge and cuts down the cost of acquiring as much premium farm land in the river bottom.

“We don’t have any funding yet, but we’ll look to get funding for what is available,” said Jeff Myers of the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). “We can piece meal this and some of these (road sections) individually and not look at the whole 13 miles all at once.”

Supporters of the plan say all of these factors, including the large crowd that showed up for Thursday’s event, say it will help move the highway expansion up on the Illinois Department of Transportation’s priority list.

“It has moved up the priority list over the last year and the number of people showing up here is a positive response,” said Quincy Mayor Mike Troup. “And with the amount of truck traffic and residential traffic going through the area increasing, we need safer roads.”

The final study should be complete by the end of 2022, but it is up to local supporters and legislators to lobby for state funding.

A large crowd turned out Thursday to look at plans for improvements to Illinois 57.

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