IDOT holds public information meeting for Corridor 66
ULLIN, Ill. - The Illinois Department of Transportation wants to make a direct route from Paducah to Cape Girardeau by creating a highway they are calling the Interstate 66 Corridor, but they need your input.
Sidney Miller drives to Cape every day from Thebes, Illinois, and project engineer Carrie Nelson says he is not alone.
"Just to the northern edge of the study area we have 12,600 vehicles a day that use Interstate 57. In the Paducah, Kentucky region on I-24, we have 40,000 vehicles a day that use 24," said Nelson.
Miller says he is ready for a direct route.
"If we had more straighter roads, and faster, they could run them 65 miles an hour instead of 40 and 50 in some of the small towns," said Miller.
He is also a city official in the small neighboring village of Olive Branch.
They have almost finished recovering from Flood 2011, and he is counting on this road to bring tourism his way.
"I'm hoping maybe if we can get this highway to come close to the backside of our town, it will create more economic value for our area," said Miller.
Nelson says a project of this magnitude will be expensive.
"It could be $10 million a mile depending on what type of facility we actually build," said Nelson.
But money is just one of the obstacles IDOT will face.
Throughout their study of the corridor, they will also have to take into consideration rivers and Southern Illinois' pristine farm and forrest land.
Wednesday's public information meeting was the first of several.
After research from all the meetings are compiled, IDOT will send the collected date on to the state and federal levels to find out how much funding is available.