Montgomery should continue Rt. 30 lobbying : Editorials : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Montgomery should continue Rt. 30 lobbying
As we report in this edition of the Ledger-Sentinel, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is now in the process of preparing preliminary plans for the widening of U.S. Route 30 from Ill. Route 31 in Montgomery west to Ill. Route 47.
Traffic on the busy two lane highway has grown exponentially over the past decade due to the residential development that has taken place along the highway in Montgomery and surrounding communities. Naturally, village officials and residents are anxious to see IDOT widen the highway to four full traffic lanes. So are we.
During a meeting last week village board members noted the growing traffic volume on the road and the resulting rise in accidents along the highway.
Board member Steve Jungermann indicated he would like to see IDOT widen the road within the next few years-if not sooner.
Unfortunately, it will likely be many more years before IDOT designates construction dollars to widen Route 30 west of Route 31.
As area motorists well know, the agency is currently spending millions of dollars to widen Route 30 between U.S. Route 34 and Route 31, and to rebuild the Route 30 and Route 31 interchange. The initial phase of the project-the rebuilding of the old Route 30 bridge over the Fox River and the construction of an adjoining new two lane bridge-was completed more than a decade ago. But the actual widening of the highway to four lanes and the rebuilding of the interchange at Route 31 remained on hold due to funding for years.
IDOT began planning for the two current Route 30 construction projects in the mid-1990s. We remember covering the first public hearing on the project in 1996 at Krug Elementary School. During the hearing, IDOT engineers outlined their preliminary plans to widen the highway from Route 34 to Route 31.
Though it will likely be many years before the workers with their bulldozers and excavators show up to widen Route 30, village officials are not totally powerless in attempting to persuade IDOT officials to designate construction dollars for the project sooner rather than later. There is truth to that old saying the "squeaky wheel gets the grease" and village officials should continue to actively encourage state representatives and senators that represent the village to lobby IDOT on the village's behalf. In addition, village officials should make a point of meeting with IDOT officials when they participate in the Metro West Council of Government's trip to Springfield each spring.
Prospects that IDOT might move Route 30 up on its list of projects to receive construction dollars will be enhanced only if the village officials keeps up an active lobbying effort.