A major highway between Beardstown and Springfield is getting major improvements in the hopes of deterring accidents and providing more safety for motorists.
Illinois Route 125, which runs 37 miles between Springfield and Beardstown had construction begin in March. IDOT says the project is going to cost 8.7 million dollars. The project will involve widening and resurfacing the roadway and replacing gutters, culverts and guardrails. The project will include new nine-foot shoulders on each side of the road.
IDOT had to remove trees on April 1st to protect bat species to widen the road. The expedited tree-cutting timetable in April followed guidance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the Indiana bat and the threatened northern long-eared bat. The general contractor is Illinois Valley Paving, and the project is being paid for with 80 percent federal and 20 percent state funds, according to IDOT officials.
The project is expected to last through summer of 2021 despite some delays with utility companies having to clear lines for the project.
Illinois State Police told Newschannel 20 they believe adding shoulders will make the road safer, however, they add that drivers need to slow down and take more caution when passing on the two-way road.