MARION, IL (KFVS) - The 2019 construction season is about to get underway in southern Illinois and officials want drivers to be safe while traveling through work zones.
During a news conference Monday morning, March 18, Illinois State Police (ISP), Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and several local state legislators discussed the upcoming Interstate 57 Expansion Project and the importance of work zone safety for drivers and road crews.
According to IDOT, in addition to the I-57 Expansion Project, there will be an active construction season with the resurfacing of lanes, bridge replacement projects, other various resurfacing projects and pothole patching.
In early April, crews will begin working on the third lane additions to I-57 northbound and southbound.
The work will take place from mile post 57 to mile post 65 in Franklin and Williamson Counties.
There will be lane closures. IDOT says the closures will only be during off-peak hours to lessen the impact on traffic. The closures are scheduled from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. or 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. The closures depend on direction of travel and the day of the work.
IDOT says not all work will be limited to nighttime work hours. Some construction will also take place during the day. Drivers need to be aware of lane shifts, shoulder drop-offs, and construction vehicles and equipment.
The construction of this portion of the I-57 Expansion project is contracted to be finished by July 2020.
In addition to the I-57 Expansion project, IDOT say the following projects will take place during the 2019 season:
- Bridge replacement at the Ina interchange.
- Bridge replacement on I-57 two miles North of the Ina interchange.
- Bridge painting at various locations in Franklin County North of Benton.
- Resurfacing projects at various locations in Franklin and Jefferson Counties.
Illinois State Police say there will be additional troopers in work zones during the upcoming construction season.
ISP is warning drivers to slow down and to be alert driving through work zones.
Drivers caught speeding in a work zone will face a mandatory court appearance and a minimum of $375 fine, according to ISP. A second offense for a driver results in a suspended driver’s license for 90 days and $1,000.
In order to be safe on the roadways, ISP and IDOT is urging drivers not to be distracted, to buckle-up and follow Scott’s Law. Scott’s Law, also known as the “Move Over” law, mandates drivers to move over if they see a vehicle stopped on the shoulder of a road. This includes first responders, police, and firefighters.
According to IDOT, in 2016 more than 97 percent of the 44 people killed in work zones. IDOT says 22 drivers, 18 passengers, two pedestrians and one bicyclist were killed in the work zones. One highway worker was killed in 2016.