The Illinois Department of Transportation is seeking the public’s input on a road improvement project that has been in the works since the 1990s.
IDOT is inviting the public to learn more and comment about proposed safety and capacity improvements to Illinois Route 97 west of Springfield.
The project proposes to realign and expand Illinois 97 to four lanes from Veterans Parkway to west of the Illinois 97/Illinois 125 junction. The preferred alternative bypasses the town of Bradfordton to the north and replaces the Sangamon Valley Trail and Prairie Creek structures.
Plans also call for new signalized intersections to be built at Bradfordton Road and the Illinois 97/Illinois 125 junction. The proposed project is estimated to cost $86.5 million.
IDOT says funding for the project is made possible by Gov. JB Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois capital program.
Construction is tentatively scheduled to start in the middle years of IDOT’s current FY21-26 multiyear plan and will take approximately four years to complete.
The improvements are necessary due to congestion, crash history, and frequency, as well as flooding at Prairie Creek. Planning for the project began in the 1990s but was only able to advance to the design and construction phases once funding was identified with the passage of Rebuild Illinois in 2019.
Instead of hosting a regular public meeting, IDOT will share information on the project and encourage participation through a website beginning today.
According to this morning’s announcement, the public can review project details, view presentations, and provide IDOT with questions online at idot.illinois.gov/projects/il-97-expressway.html,
IDOT officials say any comments received before March 1 will become part of the official public record.