St. Clair County’s Highway Department is exploring the need for a highway improvement in East St. Louis to help traffic circulation in area.
The county is conducting a feasibility study of improving the connection between the Interstate 64 ramps at Tudor and Pigott Avenues and Illinois 15 in East St. Louis.
The study area is bounded by the I-64 ramps at Tudor-Piggott, Illinois 15 from 8th Street to 38th Street and land north of the railroad tracks near Wilford Avenue and Boismenue Avenue.
The area includes a mixture of residential, commercial and industrial uses. There is some vacant property as well.
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In order to gain public input, the county highway department on Thursday, Sept. 17, has scheduled an open house at the East St. Louis Community College Center. The open house on Thursday is the first of two or three public hearings, but dates have not been set. An advisory group also will be formed.
The feasibility study is costing up to $500,000 and is being paid for with money from the Illinois Department of Transportation. St. Clair County is the lead agency on the study.
According to the county, study planners are looking to identify options to improve transportation connectivity, circulation and safety by clarifying routes, revitalizing residential communities, strengthening local circulation with the industrial and business community, reducing delays at railroad crossings, and enhancing economic development opportunities.
“It would be a better transition and possibly open a portion of East St. Louis for development,” St. Clair County Highway Department Director Jim Fields said.
The study will look at existing conditions, traffic patterns and environmental constraints in the area and social and residential effects of potential improvements.
“It’s just basically a new study on whether or not the need is there and (to see) if there is support to do this type of project,” Fields said.
“This project would enhance the city, (and) provide another access to the Poplar Street Bridge into East St. Louis,” Fields added.
Fields said an exact proposed alignment doesn’t exist yet.
If there is desire from local residents and others in the area, it would be up to local political figures to seek funding from the state for the project, Fields said.
Fields said the process would not go far without input from people in the area of what they think should happen with a potential project.
The feasibility study is expected to be completed by July.
If you go
Feasibility study open house
When: 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 17)
Where: East St. Louis Community College Center Building B, Room 2083/84, 601 James R. Thompson Blvd.
For more information about the study send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.