Route 29 Project Chairmen Update on Progress
A project that's been in the works for more than 20 years is finally taking shape. The Route 29 expansion will add four lanes, from Springfield all the way to Taylorville, bringing a lot of new business into the area, but also making the roadway safer for travelers.
Route 29 and the dangers it presents is a topic that's been on people's minds for quite some time.
"This road has been a danger for everyone involved," said Lloyd Calvert, co-chairman of the Route 29 Project. "It was started as a grassroots organization in 1993 after the death of my cousin on this road, and we lost a doctor and several other residents around the same time."
But that idea of making this road safer, is finally shaping into reality.
"Tremendous progress has been made up to date," said co-chairman Mike Bell.
"Well since we know they've been talking about this for years, the fact that they're finally laying down pavement is huge," said Edinburg Village President David Luttrell.
Construction crews are making a 6.3-mile stretch of the two-lane road into a four-lane highway. Work began a little over a year ago and they've already hit some roadblocks.
"We had a wet, wet spring," said Calvert. "So they've already put off the opening, possibly, 'til spring of 2015, so the weather has a lot to do with it."
So with months of winter weather ahead, we ask, what's been done to prepare?
"The last couple of months, we've had a lot of asphalt poured on the road and it's giving them the base to work from over the winter," said Calvert.
And will progress continue through the ice and snow?
"It's going to affect progress some, but there will always be some construction going on on the project. Just how much, according to the weather," said Calvert.
Though the end date may be delayed, many can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
"It's taken us over 20 years, but I think we're finally going to see it come to fruition," said Calvert.
Some Edinburg residents complain, saying they aren't seeing the project move fast enough, but know ultimately, the business that the expanded highway will bring in, will be worth the wait.