DOWD: IDOT provides details on the planned renovation of the I-57 interchange | Local


The Mattoon Arts Council has a new artist exhibit area in the north entrance corridor of the Cross County Mall.

The Interstate 57 / Illinois Route 16 intersection between Charleston and Mattoon is proposed for major reconstruction by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

This exchange is an important link between the two communities with over 17,000 cars passing through every day

IDOT describes the project as follows: IDOT proposes the reconstruction of the I-57 / IL Route 16 interchange east of Mattoon. At this point, I-57 is a rural four-lane split highway and IL Route 16 is a rural four-lane split highway. This section of IL Route 16 provides access between the cities of Mattoon and Charleston. The hub is currently a cloverleaf configuration with four inner loop ramps and four outer ramps to provide access between I-57 and IL Route 16.

Wildcatters Grill celebrates its grand opening on Saturday 18th September

The I-57 / IL Route 16 intersection is being reconstructed in order to avoid collisions with excessively high vehicles on the I-57 bridges over the IL Route 16, to correct the structural defects of these bridges and to minimize the geometric defects of the trefoil intersection to fix the impact on capacity.

As part of the reconstruction, the I-57 bridges over IL Route 16 will be replaced and raised to provide a minimum vertical clearance of 16-foot-6-inches from the sidewalk on IL Route 16 to the bottom of the bridge girders. In addition, the shamrock exchange configuration will be removed and replaced with a new raindrop diamond exchange configuration. The ramps of the new interchange extend over the I-57 bridges over the Lincoln Prairie Grass Trail.

To accommodate the new ramps, the existing bridges over the path will be removed and replaced with a 16 foot wide and 14 foot high box culvert. This project will solve the aforementioned problems for the hub while ensuring a smooth, continuous, safe and efficient flow for large volumes of traffic.

The planned raindrop diamond exchange will be the only one of its kind in Illinois so far. It will be a significant departure from the standard shamrock design of most Illinois freeway interchanges. The speed limits on IL Route 16 are being reduced to accommodate design features. IDOT is asking the community for input on their thoughts and questions about the proposal, which is still in the planning phase.

I recommend community members and business owners who regularly travel on IL Route 16 between Mattoon and Charleston and / or use the interchange for business travel to view the following link for full details: / projects / I-57-IL-16-Interchange-Reconstruction.html.

As you browse the site, pay special attention to the Overview tab, which contains a link to a 24-page PDF document detailing the project. The document includes drawings of what the interchange will look like and a specific example of one used in Indiana. Most importantly, the last page has a link to give IDOT feedback on the proposal. Comments and questions must be received by Friday, September 24th to be part of the public record.

Ed Dowd is the executive director of the Mattoon Chamber of Commerce.

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