Ill. DOT gets TIGER grant to aid I-57 safety, add lanes

March 8, 2018

The corridor is notorious for traffic incidents; officials are optimistic the federal dollars will help change that

A federal grant has been awarded to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to help to make I-57 safer near the town of Marion.

In a news release from Democratic U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin, it was announced that IDOT was awarded a $7.6 million TIGER grant for infrastructure improvements along I-57 in Williamson County.

According to the release, the money will be used for the expansion of approximately 5 miles of the interstate, adding a lane in each direction, as well as a median barrier. The existing lanes will be resurfaced, pavement markings and deficient guardrails will be updated, and raised reflectors and rumble strips will be installed.

Durbin expressed his hope that the funding will increase safety along that section of interstate, which is the site of numerous crashes, some deadly, each year: “This funding will help prevent future accidents and improve safety for the tens of thousands of people who travel along this section of I-57 each day,” the announcement said.

Duckworth also praised the investment: “Investing in our state’s infrastructure is one of the most important things we can do to move our state forward,” she said. “With the help of a significant infusion of federal TIGER funds, this project will go a long way toward improving safety and relieving congestion along I-57.”

Across the aisle, support was likewise high. U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) saw the grant as a winner: “It not only will improve safety along a dangerous stretch of highway between Marion and Mt. Vernon, but also has the potential to lead to economic development around Benton and other points in between,” he said in a news release.