Metro-East News

St. Clair County prepares to start Bunkum Road reconstruction

The St. Clair County Highway Department is preparing to start reconstruction on Bunkum Road from Illinois 111 in Washington Park to Illinois 157 in Caseyville.

The roughly three-mile stretch of road currently is an oil-and-chip surface with lots of truck traffic, said County Engineer Jim Fields.

“It’s not a road that can handle the truck traffic there now,” Fields said.

The county plans to put in an asphalt surface.

The estimated $5 million project is scheduled for a June bid opening, with work expected to begin in July or August, Fields said. Work is expected to take place through the winter into next summer.

Curb and gutter installation is planned for both ends of the project, Fields said.

Design work has taken place for a little more than four years, and the county highway department is looking to re-secure the needed construction easements for the project, Fields said.

The easements were previously secured, but had expired after additional reports and paperwork needed to be completed, Fields said.

The County Board’s transportation committee on Monday recommended approval of an agreement with Realtor Phil Johnson to negotiate the construction easements for about $9,000. The County Board is scheduled to vote on those negotiation services at its meeting on April 27.

When work takes place, the two-lane road is expected to only be open to local traffic and closed to through traffic, Fields said.