Western Courier

Citizens pass by City Hall for hearing

Nicholas Ebelhack

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City Hall hosted a public hearing for the renewal of the corridor protection for the N.E. Macomb bypass highway alignment from US 136 East to US 67.

 Route 67, a popular road used by students coming from northern Illinois to get to the Western Illinois University Macomb Campus, would be crossed by IL 336 in order for drivers to be able to pass Macomb without traveling on Jackson St. and Navigating through the town square.

 According to a handout provided by he Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), “The proposed facility will be a 65 mph, fully access controlled, interstate-type facility. Access onto and off of the bypass can only occur at interchanges. Interchanges are proposed at US 136 east of Macomb and US 67 north of the city.”

 The project, which is 6.2 miles in length and will cost approximately $140 million, will cause the displacement of two residential areas. IDOT is currently working with those residents to buy out the property if they are unable to move before they can invoke eminent domain.

 The public hearing allowed Macomb residents to see a detailed map of the project plans and ask any questions they have to the developers.

The pamphlet IDOT had available lists benefits of corridor protection for the project, such as the prevention of conflicting development plans IDOT may consider, providing necessary transportation facilities, more cost effective future roadway projects, foresight for governmental development projects, foresight for property owners  and the ability for businesses to plan out future infrastructure.

 For property owners affected by the bypass, they must notify IDOT 60 days in advance if they are planning on developing property. IDOT may purchase the property if the developments conflict with the corridor’s  development.

 According to the handout, “Corridor protection des not place restriction on selling property, only on improvements to property. If you have an improvement in progress at the time you receive a registered mail notification, you should notify IDOT concerning your improvements.”

 All written comments received during the public hearing will be added in the official project record. The last day that comments on the project will be accepted is  Sept. 27, 2016.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Citizens pass by City Hall for hearing