Several road projects on the north side of Decatur are in the plans for the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Local officials and the public viewed the prospective plans Tuesday afternoon in Madden Auditorium of the Decatur Public Library. Visitors provided input for the 2015 to 2020 multimodal transportation program, the planning and programming guide for transportation based on current estimates of local, federal and state funding, including the governor's Illinois Jobs Now! capital program.
Plans for Decatur highlighted by the DOT included work on U.S. 51 from Interstate 72 to U.S. 36, resurfacing Illinois 121/Illinois 48, as well as work on I-72 near Oreana.
While these projects were those listed by the state, Roger Driskell, deputy director of highways for the DOT, said public meetings such as the one in Decatur also help the group understand what residents see as the most important projects to the community.
"It is to make sure we have the right priorities," Driskell said. "We want to know if there's something missing from our plans."
The funding for the program for the fiscal years 2014 to 2019 is about $9.5 billion for state road and bridge systems alone. A focus will be on maintenance and improvements of the road system and any interconnected systems such as transit, rail or bike facilities.
Current work highlighted by the DOT included Illinois 105 and Ill. 121 improvements.
DOT presentations are being held in Illinois in each of the nine transportation districts. Macon County is the farthest northwest county in its district, which stretches as far southeast as Wabash County on the Indiana border.
While few residents attended the early part of the informal meeting, Driskell said most usually come when the roads directly affect them.
"If it's in their backyard, they'll come out," he said.
Those wanting to provide a written statement on a project may send it to Illinois Department of Transportation District 7 Office, 400 W. Wabash, Effingham, IL 62401-2699, by Nov. 15 to be included in the meeting record.
Copyright 2013 - Herald & Review, Decatur, Ill.