Metro-East News

County looks to take over roadways to get East St. Louis project going

To help get the reconstruction of Front Street going, St. Clair County has plans to take jurisdiction of some additional roadway.

The county was planning to take over jurisdiction and maintenance of just Front Street, but the Illinois Department of Transportation wanted the county to have jurisdiction over more roadway.

The county now needs to also take over maintenance of a couple hundred feet of Missouri Avenue, and consider Trendley Avenue, from Front Street to Eighth Street, as an extension of a county highway.

Trendley Avenue would still be under city jurisdiction, but would be eligible for future outside funding, said Jim Fields, St. Clair County engineer. If Trendley Avenue were to be reconstructed later and the county took over full jurisdiction, then the project would be eligible for state Truck Access Route Program money.

As part of the project, scheduled to go out for bid in October, Front Street is slated to be reconstructed.

The project also includes include resurfacing of Trendley Avenue from Front Street to Main Street, the reconstruction of West Missouri Avenue from Front Street to B Street, and reconstruction of B Street from Missouri Avenue to River Park Drive.

The new relocated Missouri Avenue, which is being built by the state, also would be considered a city road, but also an extension of a county highway, Fields said.

“I would not anticipate any improvements needed on Missouri Avenue anytime in the near future, but it would qualify for additional funding,” Fields said.

A roundabout also is planned on River Park Drive.

The goal of the project is to remove truck traffic from River Park Drive and separate it from casino traffic.

Money for the project is coming from both public and private sources, including Cargill and Bunge-SCF.

The reason for the jurisdictional transfers is that IDOT wanted the routing to be continuous, said Taulby Roach, project coordinator for the St. Clair County Transit District, which helped coordinate the engineering for the project.

The city of East St. Louis has agreed to the transfers.

The St. Clair County Board is scheduled to vote on the jurisdictional transfers next week.

County Board member Roy Mosley Jr. said he is appreciative of county and transit district officials working to move the project forward.

“The whole region will benefit from this project, we’re excited to have some infrastructure improvements in East St. Louis, to bring heavy industrial back to the community,” Mosley said. “It’s a very big step for the future of the region.”

Joseph Bustos: 618-239-2451, @JoeBReporter