IDOT completes expansion and upgrades of Effingham I-57/70

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EFFINGHAM – A project that started in 2010 to expand and improve Interstates 57 and 70 through Effingham has finally been completed.

Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn, along with Effingham Mayor Jeff Bloemker and local officials, came together Tuesday to announce the completion of the project. Secretary Blankenhorn says the Department has appreciated the public’s patients as these improvements took place.

“To understand why Illinois is the transportation hub of North America, you need to look no further than Effingham and this project,” Blankenhorn explains.

The project rebuilt I-57/70 and added a third lane in each direction with a center median along six miles, from I-57 south of Effingham to I-57 northeast of the city. The interchanges at U.S> 45 and Fayette Avenue were reconstructed to further enhance traffic capacity. Thirteen bridges on I-57/70 were either rebuilt or rehabilitated.

A multi-model component was involved building a bicycle and pedestrian bridge at Fayette Avenue to connect trails on both sides of the interstate.

These changes will improve safety and traffic flow through Effingham and rebuilt a key section of one of the state’s major freight corridors.

Through Effingham, I-57/70 accommodates almost 40,000 vehicles a day, almost half of which are trucks, making it a critical interstate route for freight traffic.

Some minor work on the $170 million project still needs to be completed. A few of those tasks include restriping lanes, completing traffic signal installation, finishing work to the turn lanes on U.S. 45 and landscaping.

Minimal traffic impacts should be expected for the next month.

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