Southern Illinois counties say there’s a need for a four lane expressway

Updated: Feb. 21, 2020 at 6:03 PM CST
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MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (KFVS) - City leaders from four southern Illinois counties met to discuss a road project to makes drivers commutes safer.

They can’t do it without funding from state.

Murphysboro Mayor Will Stephens said creating a rural four lane expressway in southern Illinois will be beneficial to drivers and communities.

“It will help grow the economy of southern Illinois when you have a quicker commute between Murphysboro, Carbondale, and St. Louis,” he said.

Stephens and other city leaders from Perry, Jackson, Monroe, and Randolph counties met with state officials Friday. The plan is to expand Illinois routes 127, 154, and three from two lanes to four lanes .

“There is a lot of semi traffic on this highway and sections of it are very hilly it makes passing very dangerous,” Stephens said.

I talk to some people who have mixed reactions.

Joe Green said, “It would alleviate all the traffic that’s on 127 which is bad.”

“I think expanding the road will be better for our area the more money that will come into the area,” said Robert Cox.

State Representative Terri Bryant said this proposal is nothing new,

“This is a project that’s been about forty years in the making,” Bryant said.

She said this time it’s more than just a vision.

“What’s different now, we here in Illinois at the state level, we now have dollars for road projects, and we’ve protected them in the lock box,” Bryant said.

Stephens said this project will be a hefty price tag, but he hopes it gets funded.

“This is going to be in total someone between a 600-700 million-dollar project from start to finish. “

Representative Bryant said the next step is to get the director of transportation for Illinois involved.

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