The following was found on the Illinois Department of Transportation website. Note the email address to contact if you’d like to be put on a list to receive information about the project from IDOT.
I-66 – Alexander, Johnson, Massac, Pulaski, and Union Counties
The Illinois Department of Transportation is pleased to announce a consulting firm has been chosen to provide Phase I engineering services required for the preparation of an anticipated Tiered Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and supporting engineering reports for the construction of a four lane freeway or expressway from Interstate 24 in the Paducah, Kentucky/Metropolis, Illinois region to Interstate 55 in the Cape Girardeau, Missouri region. Little Egypt JV, a joint venture of the consulting firms Horner & Shifrin, Inc. and Bernardin, Lochmueller and Associates, were selected. $3.6 million in funding was approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation to evaluate the most feasible I-66 corridor. The counties included in the study are Alexander, Johnson, Massac, Pulaski, and Union. The study, which will begin in April 2013, will take 3 years to complete and includes environmentally sensitive and economically depressed areas. The study will be conducted under the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and will include several public meetings and input from stakeholders in southern Illinois as well as Kentucky and Missouri.
The I-66 project is part of the East-West Transamerica Corridor, a national transportation plan first studied in the 1980s that would start in San Diego and end in the Norfolk, Va. area. At this time, there is no further funding identified in Illinois for I-66 past the initial Tiered Environmental Impact Statement and supporting engineering reports.
Anyone that would like to be added to the project’s mailing list may do so by sending their contact information to Valerie.Rolla@illinois.gov
Notice of Award 2011 (~70kb PDF)
Project Location Map (~5mb PDF)
Project Area Map (~4mb PDF)
Feasibility Study to Begin in January
An article in the Southeast Missourian yesterday announced that the consulting firms Horner & Shifrin Inc. and Bernardin, Lochmueller and Associates will be begin work on the Feasibility Study for I-66 in January, 2013. The study is being funded by a $3.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation and a 20 percent match from IDOT generating a total of $4.5 million for the project.
This is the first tier of an environmental-impact statement to study possible routes and select a corridor for a 40- to 50-mile stretch of road crossing Southern Illinois between Cape Girardeau, Missouri and Paducah, Kentucky. The Environmental Impact Statement is required by the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires all branches of government to give consideration to the environment before undertaking any major federal action. It is expected to take about three years to complete.
The Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce is a huge proponent of this highway and has even hired a private consultant to “compile a list of interested parties, whether they are local manufacturers or simply interested residents who would like to get to Kentucky Lake more quickly.”
Feds Pull Plug on Prairie Parkway in Northern Illinois
And, why is this important? Because after 11 years fighting against this bad highway proposal the Citizens Against the Sprawlway prevailed. It gives us the inspiration we need to Nix I-66. You can read their story of struggle and success at http://www.sprawlway.org/.
Politicians Ride Roughshod Over Citizens in indiana
A contentious 1.75-miles segment of I-69 through Bloomington, Indiana has politicians acting like grade school bullies. The Bloomington, Indiana City Council and the Bloomington-Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization have refused to include the segment in it transportation plan. Without its inclusion in the plan federal money can’t be used on the segment.
In December, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels claimed that opposition to I-69 through Bloomington would not stop the project, even if he has to respond by withholding millions of dollars for Bloomington’s bus systems and other area road projects.
Then yesterday Republican U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon offered an amendment to a federal bill that would give governors the authority to insert an interstate highway into a transportation improvement plan “without approval or endorsement” of a local Metropolitan Planning Organization MPO.
Never underestimate the lengths some politicians will go to bring home the bacon.