JACKSONVILLE -- Governor George H. Ryan joined state and local officials today to begin construction on a $37.5 million, nine-mile section of the US 67 expressway in Morgan County. The Illinois Department of Transportation’s 2003-2007 highway improvement plan also includes $294 million to continue the improvement and extension of US 67.
“Without Illinois FIRST I know this project would not be possible, it’s allowing us to turn US 67 into a modern highway that will benefit people throughout West Central Illinois,” Governor Ryan said. “US 67 is a vital link between the Quad Cities and Alton, and while there is still a lot of work to be done along the 230-mile stretch we eventually want to complete, we are making major progress.”
This $37.5 million Illinois FIRST project includes construction of 9.22 miles of four-lane highway from Interstate 72 south of Jacksonville to the Scott County line. It includes a new interchange at I-72, with four new ramps and the construction of 3 new bridges over Sandy, Brushy Fork and Spoon Creeks. Work on this portion of US 67 is expected to be complete by October 1, 2004.
“The US 67 Corridor Committee has worked hard, dedicating a lot of time and effort to keep this a priority with their elected officials,” Governor Ryan said. “The people who live and work here have told us how important US 67 is to them and today we’re seeing the results.”
This spring Governor Ryan also announced that $294 million dollars has been included in IDOT’s 5 year highway plan for continuing construction on US 67, including highway construction north and south of Jacksonville and engineering from Alton to Macomb.
Since Governor Ryan has been in office nearly 37 miles of the US 67 expressway has been completed and opened to traffic, and engineering work is underway on an additional 119 miles. US 67 is a 230 mile corridor from Alton to the Quad Cities and is an important North-South link in Western Illinois. To date the Illinois Department of Transportation has spent more than $565 million on improvements to US 67.