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Author Topic: Iowa says US-20 is too dangerous in Illinois  (Read 27047 times)

edwaleni

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Re: Iowa says US-20 is too dangerous in Illinois
« Reply #225 on: February 15, 2021, 02:57:35 PM »

IDOT  has posted a new Featured Project. Illinois 97 in Sangamon county. While I may go into its details in Southern Illinois Notes it is relevant to US 20.
It was first started as an EA and got a FONSI. That was 1997. But they had to review and update in 2017. They did keep corridor protection.
Like Rick Powell has said this would have to be done for US 20. I think the previous freeway focus and Purpose and need present a much bigger problem for this project.

IL-97 in Sangamon County exists to get people up to Lincoln's New Salem and back.  I don't see any parallels with US-20 at all.

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3467

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Re: Iowa says US-20 is too dangerous in Illinois
« Reply #226 on: February 15, 2021, 04:48:03 PM »

It has to do with the amount of Environmental Review needed. This one Illinois 97 is nothing and still needed 4 years of additional work. What would reviving US 20 take?
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I-39

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Re: Iowa says US-20 is too dangerous in Illinois
« Reply #227 on: February 15, 2021, 04:57:01 PM »

It has to do with the amount of Environmental Review needed. This one Illinois 97 is nothing and still needed 4 years of additional work. What would reviving US 20 take?

It's probably best just to start over at this point. Even if they really wanted to, the project as originally envisioned is simply not possible anymore with the limited funds.

I suggest revamping the project as a new four lane expressway (free flowing, i.e, no stoplights) utilizing the existing alignment where possible (i.e, east of Stockton). I think that could be done somewhat cheaper.
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3467

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Re: Iowa says US-20 is too dangerous in Illinois
« Reply #228 on: February 15, 2021, 05:04:19 PM »

Yes that was my point 39. I went back and read the ROD. Things have changed
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mgk920

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Re: Iowa says US-20 is too dangerous in Illinois
« Reply #229 on: February 15, 2021, 05:30:14 PM »

Wasn't IDOT looking into drilling a tunnel through one of those ridges as an option for freewayizing US 20 in the Galena, IL area a few decades ago?

Mike
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3467

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Re: Iowa says US-20 is too dangerous in Illinois
« Reply #230 on: February 15, 2021, 08:31:17 PM »

I heard that too.. Also considering the expressways being built are running from 10 to 15 million a mile I can't even imagine a freeway. They estimated Galena Bypass at 20 million a mile in 2006.
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3467

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Re: Iowa says US-20 is too dangerous in Illinois
« Reply #231 on: February 15, 2021, 08:33:33 PM »

With an expressway option the current route through Galena could be kept. I  know a third lane was planned in Galena but the town even vetoed that.
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edwaleni

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Re: Iowa says US-20 is too dangerous in Illinois
« Reply #232 on: February 15, 2021, 09:14:24 PM »

Wasn't IDOT looking into drilling a tunnel through one of those ridges as an option for freewayizing US 20 in the Galena, IL area a few decades ago?

Mike

The Galena Bypass is all bridges. No tunnels required. 

As for the Glacier Shadow Pass highway, 2 tunnels were part of the alternates proposed as well as a 1500 foot span over Long Hollow.

Long Hollow is west of Elizabeth and is a long drawn valley formed from Long Hollow Creek. If you look at Google Maps, US 20 has a lookout called "Long Hollow Scenic Overlook".

The alternative that uses Irish Hollow west of Elizabeth will require tunnels. This is not surprising because the old abandoned Winston Tunnel for the Chicago & Great Western railroad is not far off Irish Hollow.

The road would work its way north up the hollow, but need a tunnel to join up with the Galena Bypass east of Horseshoe Mound. The 2 tunnels would be south of Smallpox Creek near Irish Hollow Road.

Expensive and goes through a scenic area. I would guess a freeway in this area would garner a lot of push back.
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3467

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Re: Iowa says US-20 is too dangerous in Illinois
« Reply #233 on: February 15, 2021, 11:54:52 PM »

It got a lot of pushback. The freeway watch committed former to stop it. . IDOT  Dist kept refusing to consider an expressway despite an earlier feas. Study that recommended it.
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I-39

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Re: Iowa says US-20 is too dangerous in Illinois
« Reply #234 on: February 16, 2021, 09:13:18 AM »

With an expressway option the current route through Galena could be kept. I  know a third lane was planned in Galena but the town even vetoed that.

No, there would still need to be a bypass of some sort to achieve a four lane divided expressway.

To be clear, there would still have to be some portions of a hypothetical US 20 expressway on a new alignment, but if possible, the existing alignment should be used.
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edwaleni

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Re: Iowa says US-20 is too dangerous in Illinois
« Reply #235 on: February 16, 2021, 12:05:05 PM »

Here is a terrain view of the challenge of US-20.

The existing ROW used a typical approach of its era. A "get high" and stay high until you don't need to.

From the bottom right, it works its way out of Long Hollow and rides the top of the ridge between Long Hollow and Irish Hollow.

IDOT then made a cut at the summit (center of the pix) and rode Glen Hollow down to cross Smallpox Creek and then worked back up to Horseshoe Mound (top left corner)



The Irish Hollow Route would come up at the bottom center of the pix and would tunnel at the summit between South Irish Hollow and North Irish Hollow.

In the bottom left you can see Winston Tunnel, the abandoned C&GW rail tunnel. They used the Irish Hollow route in 1906 to reach the Mississippi Valley asap.

The climb out of Long Hollow to reach 850' at the summit is a long one. Relatively speaking 850' is not a huge summit, but comparatively in Illinois, it is a long 4-5% grade.
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3467

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Re: Iowa says US-20 is too dangerous in Illinois
« Reply #236 on: February 16, 2021, 12:12:17 PM »

Yes . Once again what would a new alignment cost now?
Several expressways use through town routes. 67 through Good Hope.
Avenue of Saints Hannibal and Waterloo. I could go on.
I think this is dead. Best hope more passing lanes.
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triplemultiplex

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Re: Iowa says US-20 is too dangerous in Illinois
« Reply #237 on: February 16, 2021, 01:51:40 PM »

Is that abandoned rail tunnel still intact?
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edwaleni

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Re: Iowa says US-20 is too dangerous in Illinois
« Reply #238 on: February 16, 2021, 03:48:19 PM »

Is that abandoned rail tunnel still intact?

Yes.

But the county has put up metal bars on each end due to a large amount of water seepage inside. They are worried about a collapse.

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I-39

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Re: Iowa says US-20 is too dangerous in Illinois
« Reply #239 on: February 16, 2021, 06:47:43 PM »

Yes . Once again what would a new alignment cost now?
Several expressways use through town routes. 67 through Good Hope.
Avenue of Saints Hannibal and Waterloo. I could go on.
I think this is dead. Best hope more passing lanes.

67 is not a four lane expressway through Good Hope.

A new alignment on the Elizabeth to Galena/IL-84 section wouldn't be as much if it were done as an at grade expressway. But I would go from east to west in building it (i.e, Freeport to Stockton, Stockton to Elizabeth and Elizabeth to Galena/IL-84). The Freeport to Stockton section is fairly low hanging fruit considering the terrain. 
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edwaleni

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Re: Iowa says US-20 is too dangerous in Illinois
« Reply #240 on: February 16, 2021, 09:30:56 PM »

Yes . Once again what would a new alignment cost now?
Several expressways use through town routes. 67 through Good Hope.
Avenue of Saints Hannibal and Waterloo. I could go on.
I think this is dead. Best hope more passing lanes.

67 is not a four lane expressway through Good Hope.

A new alignment on the Elizabeth to Galena/IL-84 section wouldn't be as much if it were done as an at grade expressway. But I would go from east to west in building it (i.e, Freeport to Stockton, Stockton to Elizabeth and Elizabeth to Galena/IL-84). The Freeport to Stockton section is fairly low hanging fruit considering the terrain.

I agree with you. Instead of trying to swallow the entire nut, add by sections west of Freeport as far as Elizabeth.  Build east by finishing the Galena Bypass to Horseshoe Mound. All the variations of the alternatives focus on Elizabeth to Horseshoe Mound. Decide that later.
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3467

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Re: Iowa says US-20 is too dangerous in Illinois
« Reply #241 on: February 16, 2021, 09:32:25 PM »

No it's 3 lanes but the rest is 4 . Expressways have through town sections .
Galena Bypass would be incredibly expensive . Stockton Freeport probably the current 10 to 15.
I could make a case for doing that and extending the existing passing lanes to Galena.
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3467

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Re: Iowa says US-20 is too dangerous in Illinois
« Reply #242 on: February 16, 2021, 09:34:04 PM »

We had same thought at same time.
It's a little creative for IDOT at present even though it's what the did from Rockford to Freeport in the sixties.
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3467

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Re: Iowa says US-20 is too dangerous in Illinois
« Reply #243 on: February 16, 2021, 09:40:12 PM »

What am I saying they are basically doing the same thing on 34.
They are making it 3 lane West of Stockton so the could add 15 miles of expressway to Freeport. Then they could add I think about 5 miles of passing lanes.
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triplemultiplex

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Re: Iowa says US-20 is too dangerous in Illinois
« Reply #244 on: February 17, 2021, 09:42:18 AM »

Is that abandoned rail tunnel still intact?

Yes.

But the county has put up metal bars on each end due to a large amount of water seepage inside. They are worried about a collapse.


Cool man!  I hope it's full of bats. :-D
Love the ominous dripping cave sounds.

Have to lol about the ghost story too.  There's sometimes fog by the tunnel?  OooOOoooOOhhhh.  That must be super creepy for people who don't know how fog works.
Put some warm, moist air in front of a giant hole in the ground with ~50 degree air coming out of it and whaddya get? That's right, condensation!
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3467

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Re: Iowa says US-20 is too dangerous in Illinois
« Reply #245 on: February 17, 2021, 10:16:55 AM »

It may. Lots of old caves and tunnels are hated off to protect bat roosting areas from white nose syndrome.
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edwaleni

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Re: Iowa says US-20 is too dangerous in Illinois
« Reply #246 on: February 17, 2021, 11:47:25 AM »

Here is why the gates were put up. Kids in 2002 messing around inside near a collapse. Railroad historians said it was a difficult tunnel to maintain due to the seepage.

People used to go up there in winter time because these massive ice stalagmites/stalactites would form.

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triplemultiplex

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Re: Iowa says US-20 is too dangerous in Illinois
« Reply #247 on: February 22, 2021, 01:52:29 PM »

Wow, the tunnel made into this century before it was gated off?  Fascinating.  I guess no one told the lawyers before then. :-D
Love the old railroad ties still in place.
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edwaleni

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Re: Iowa says US-20 is too dangerous in Illinois
« Reply #248 on: February 22, 2021, 07:11:27 PM »

Wow, the tunnel made into this century before it was gated off?  Fascinating.  I guess no one told the lawyers before then. :-D
Love the old railroad ties still in place.

It was actually gated off shortly after the property reverted back. The west portal is owned by the State of Illinois and is a park. The east portal returned to the private property owner and it didn't take long for sightseers to trespass.

So the fences were put up. The "collapse" you see in the picture is not actually the tunnel itself, its the airshaft from above.

With the equipment removed, rainwater worked its way into the shaft and weakened the surrounding clay near the top. As the clay washed out, the shale weakened and eventually the whole thing came down.
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