Metro-East News

Centralia leaders concerned over IDOT's plan to close highway for repair bridge

Centralia city officials are concerned about plans to shut down Illinois 161 for bridge construction.

WJBD radio reports that city manager Dan Ramey briefed the City Council on Monday that the Illinois Department of Transportation is considering closing Illinois 161 west of Centralia for replacement of the Crooked Creek Bridge.

Traffic would be rerouted from Illinois 161 onto Illinois 127 to U.S. 50, and then back on U.S. 51, Ramey said. But Ramey said there are “big concerns” and that IDOT officials have agreed to hold a meeting for city staff and the business community regarding the preliminary plans.

“It’s a big economic impact on some of those businesses out there when people can’t get to it,” Ramey said. “The city sees that and we don’t want that either.”

The estimated time of construction is 18 months. The date and time of the IDOT meeting was not immediately available.

Elizabeth Donald: 618-239-2507, @BNDedonald