Congestion Ahead for Marion

Congestion Ahead for Marion
By: Carly O'keefe
MARION, Il--Anyone who regularly drives through Marion, Illinois at rush hour can tell you, it's no picnic. But next week, it could be worse.
"We already know that Marion has a very high traffic flow, especially during certain hours of the day," said Marion Assistant Police Chief John Eibeck.
The Illinois Department of Transportation continues its overhaul of Interstate 57 in southern Illinois starting Monday June 4. Northbound traffic will be reduced to one lane between Marion and Johnston City. To make it worse, the major Marion on-ramps at mile marker 54 will be closed off-and-on for up to three weeks.
With Miners Baseball new to town, game nights have already made traffic a little more hectic than the common Marion rush-hour congestion. A similar project on Interstate 57 last week near Johnston City brought traffic to a stand still on the interstate and in Marion as drivers followed alternate routes.
"Unfortunately next week the traffic back-ups are going to be further south, so the impact is going to be greater," said IDOT Project Implementation Engineer Greg Smothers.
Another road block for a stress-free drive next week: Marion's Interstate 57 on-ramps will close intermittently during construction. That means getting into Marion will be no problem--leaving could be a different story.
"That could cause some problems, but with the ballpark so close to 57, people are going to know coming to the game that there's going to be problems coming out. As long as they follow the signs, they should be okay," said Eibeck.