Get ready for a change in your commute. The city of Highland has received funding from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) for a new roundabout at Iberg Road and Broadway.
“About a year before opening Veterans Honor Parkway, we met with IDOT, as well as the county, to try to determine what we could do to make that area safe. You have people coming into town at 55 mph,” said Highland City Manager Mark Latham. “In that discussion, IDOT said signalization is probably something they wouldn’t support.”
IDOT recently sent a memo the city, stating Highland would receive funding for the roundabout project through the local Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP).
The city will receive $990,000 for the project.
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“This is great news, and the good thing about this one is that usually you have to wait four or five years to get the money,” Latham said. “This way, the money is already available.”
Latham said the city has been having a conversation about installing a roundabout at Iberg and Broadway for a few years, but hadn’t been able to do much about it, because of the lack of appropriation funds. Now that the city has the money, the preliminary process for work on the project can begin.
But Latham said this roundabout is more than just about safety, but it’s about making an investment for the city’s future.
“The majority of the public that I’ve talked to just love the roundabouts,” Latham said. “When I first started as city manager in Highland, I was told that people in town don’t like traffic lights. They don’t want to stop. They want to go, go, go.”
The city currently has two other roundabouts, one at Troxler and Illinois Route 143/160, and the other at Poplar Street and Broadway.
With the addition of another roundabout, Latham said its in a perfect spot, because the city is going to expand. And when it grows, it’s going to be eastward.
“Safety is the biggest thing, but if you look at this from a broader standpoint, Highland is going to grow east. Ten years from now, I see that whole area as being fairly well-developed. It might be ahead of time, but I see this as an investment in the future,” Latham said. “This is like a gateway to Highland.”
Typically, it takes about four to five months to complete construction on a roundabout, Latham said, but construction won’t be starting anytime soon.
“I would say the earliest would be probably Jan. 1, 2018,” Latham said.