Joan Moore lives along Illinois 15 in East St. Louis and has property along Tudor Avenue.
She sat at a table during an open house at the East St. Louis Community College Center with other attendees and discussed a potential project to improve the connection between Illinois 15 and the Interstate 64 ramps at Tudor and Pigott avenues.
“I want to know how it’s going to affect me,” Moore said. “I want to know what route it’s going to take.”
The St. Clair County Highway Department held an open house Thursday to discuss the possible road improvement. About 65 people signed in at the open house within the first hour.
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County officials are conducting a feasibility study of improving the connection to the Tudor and Pigott avenues I-64 ramps.
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 open house was planned in order to obtain public input on a possible improvement. No funding for a potential project has been identified.
Future open houses are planned but no dates have been scheduled, and study organizers plan to start an advisory group with community members for additional input. The study process is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, said St. Clair County engineer Jim Fields.
“We want to get their input, their ideas, (and see) if they’re in favor of it or oppose it,” Fields said.
He added he was happy with the turnout.
“That was our goal to get people involved,” Fields said.
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.
Previous studies in 1974, 1994 and 2004 had been done on a potential improvement. However there was a lack of local and state support and involvement and none of the studies moved forward.
Project engineers hope to focus on common goals of improving connectivity in the area while revitalizing the area.
Moore said she is not against a project, but she would just want to be fairly compensated if her property needs to be involved.
“I know what it costs to start all over, I’ve had to do it before,” Moore said. “But at my age, the idea of having to start all over again makes me sick to the stomach.”
Moore said she vowed to stay involved and keep up with any progress on a potential project.
“I don’t want to be surprised at the last minute,” the 73-year-old Moore said. “I want to know what I’ve got to do, because I’m not getting any younger.”
Christine Goff, of East St. Louis, she has lived in town her whole life and attends church at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church at 1648 Tudor.
She is interested in getting more information about the potential project.
“I’m just really listening to see what is happening,” Goff said.
Marvin Young lives near to the Wilford Avenue and Dr. M R Lemmons Boulevard intersection.
Young said he is concerned an improvement would physically divide a community, but he still came to the open house to learn about the study.
“I would like to see it connected, but if it’s going to destroy the neighborhood, or devalue my property, I would leave just like it is,” Young said.