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Title: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: roadgeek on February 04, 2009, 10:00:31 PM
U.S. Route 50 Four-Lane Expressway

Build It And They Will Come...But Not Anytime Soon

By Bill Oliver



About 46 local residents attended a special public meeting Thursday
night sponsored by the Illinois Department of Transportation as part
of a feasibility study on the proposed widening of U.S. Route 50 from
a two-lane highway to a four-lane expressway from Lawrenceville to
Salem.

The turnout for the Flora meeting was about average according to Lee
Austen, project manager for STS Consultants, the firm employed by IDOT
to coordinate the project and conduct the feasibility studies.
Thursday night's meeting was the last of four sessions which included
Olney, Salem, and Lawrenceville.

"There were some very good questions and some legitimate concerns,"
Austen said, "but everyone seemed to agree that they are for the four-
laned road."

Represenatives of the Illinois Department of Transportation and STS
Consultants, LTD., were available to answer questions, explain
exhibits, and discuss the study process and scope of the highway plan.

Plans to widen Route 50 into a four-lane expressway have been on and
off the shelf for the last four decades. The current plan is for a 75-
mile stretch of four-lane expressway from Lawrenceville to Salem.

"Other road projects have taken priority and funding," Austen said,
"but I really believe this project will become a reality if we all
work together."

Austen said if and when the widening process begins, it will probably
be done in five to ten mile sections.

"It won't be completed all at once," he said.

Austen estimated the total cost of the project will be over $1
billion. However, he added that there are no funds allocated for the
project at the present time.

Among the issues being addressed for the feasibility study are:

*Can improvements be accomplished without creating possible negative
effects on social, economic and environmental aspects?

*Will the improvements allow traffic to move more efficiently and
safely?

*Will the benefits outweigh the costs?

In the Flora area, Austen said the expressway would be a definite
advantage for Industrial Park, and it could lead to further
development along the route.

"If there is going to be any major retail development in Flora, it
will more than likely be along the highway and not in the downtown
area," he said. "The four-lane would be very positive for future
growth. And perhaps, in time, some of that growth would move to the
downtown area." Austen said that there is a daily average of about 6,
000 vehicles that pass Flora on Route 50 at the present time.

Austen said all of the communities involved in the project must work
together and make their voices heard in Springfield.

"People are going to have to work together and work with the other
counties," he said. "There are only so many dollars in the state's
coffers, and the areas that get those dollars first are the ones that
pull together."

Although U.S. Route 50 is a federal highway, Illinois is footing the
bill for the feasibility studies which will determine what federal
funding will become available should the plans for the expressway
become a reality.

Although he feels positive that the four-lane project will someday be
completed. Austen is also realistic.

"I don't anticipate driving on it in my lifetime."


PART 2


Route 50 Four-Lane Expansion Just Five Years Away...In 1974


If the traffic along U.S. Route 50 moved as slowly as the wheels of
government, we would also still be using oats for fuel.

The Illinois Department of Transportation conducted a public meeting
last week as part of a feasibility study to get input on the
possibility of turning U.S. Route 50 from Lawrenceville to Salem into
a four-lane expressway. It's not a new idea. In fact, it's been on and
off the shelf for several decades.

For example, back in December of 1973, Illinois Governor Dan Walker
signed a Regional Transit System bill that would nearly have
guaranteed a four-lane highway around Flora extending from Clay City
to Xenia. Also attached to that bill was a statewide lottery.

The downstate freeway system was a point of bitter contention all year
between downstate Republicans and the Governor. Finally, the downstate
legislators were able to get the freeway bill incorporated into the
Governor's top priority legislation. State Represenative Roscoe
Cunningham played a major role in the battle for better roads through
Flora.

The four-lane project from Clay City to Xenia was part of a long-range
plan for a four-lane freeway between Vincennes, Indiana, and St.
Louis.

In the bill, $9.5 million was appropriated for the 15-mile stretch
from Clay City to Xenia. It included $500,000 for a study and $9
million for the actual land acquisition and construction.

One of the loopholes for the four-lane Flora bypass funding was "time.
" There were only six months to spend the money before the fiscal year
ended. If it wasn't spent before June 30th, 1974, it would revert back
to the state's general fund.

It was beginning to look as though the four-lane bypass would become a
reality - but, of course, it didn't.

In the spring of 1974, the Illinois Department of Transportation
publicly stated that the start of a four-lane freeway between Carlyle
and Vincennes was about five to seven years away. H.L. Weir, District
7 Engineer for IDOT was the guest speaker at a meeting of the Embarras
Regional Planning and Development Commission in April of 1974. The
Embarras Commission represented Clay, Jasper, Richland, Lawrence, and
Crawford counties and had local government officials from each county
working together for the betterment of the five-county area.

The four-lane road now on the table was still part of the Regional
Transit Authority proposal and about $200 million had been set aside
for the project.

Weir said at the time that planning for sections of the freeway was
underway, but it would be some time before funds were secured and
construction started.

He said several steps had to be completed before the start of
construction. First, IDOT had to get corridor approval for a path for
the new four-lane road. Then, an environmental impact study would have
to be made on the corridor. IDOT would then have to design all aspects
of the highway. He said the entire process would take between five and
seven years.

Weir detailed some of the progress being made on various segments of
the four-lane highway.

He said the design for the stretch from Carlyle to Xenia had been
completed and IDOT was awaiting environmental hearings.

Approval had been given to finalize the design and hold hearings on
the stretch from Xenia to Clay City. The corridor from Clay City to
Lawrenceville had also been selected, but approval was being held up
because of a controversy over taking the highway through Red Hill
State Park.

Clay County Engineer Roger Edmison asked Weir if his department had
come up with a site for the Clay City interchange on the new road.
Edmision said there were concerns about the interchange taking
property inside village limits.

Weir said the final location of the interchange was undecided and that
a site about a mile east of Clay City was being studied along with the
site at the intersection with Clay City's Main Street.

Weir also told the meeting that a contract for improvement of U.S. 45
from Louisville north to the Clay County line was let, but the bids
were 10 percent over the estimate.

So, over thirty years ago a Route 50 four-lane expansion was in the
planning stages and those plans are once again resurfacing. But, as
Lee Austen, project manager for the current feasibility study said at
last Thursday's public meeting, those among us now living will
probably never drive on the U.S. 50 expressway. But he is confident it
will be constructed...somday.



THE HOMETOWN JOURNAL
CLAY COUNTY, ILLINOIS
APRIL 3, 2006
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: rmsandw on February 07, 2009, 07:39:15 PM
Interesting...It looks as they did get to the buying of land stages in Clay and Richland counties for the most part when I was through several years ago.  It would be nice to have it go from the IN line to I-57.  I say it be a I-557!!!
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: Chris on February 08, 2009, 06:14:42 AM
Expressway as in; at grade intersections?

Interesting though, it would provide a more direct high-capacity route between St. Louis and Cincinnati, although I don't think the route via I-70/I-74 is much longer.

According to Google Maps:

I-70/I-74 route: 349 miles
US 50 route: 344 miles
I-64/I-71 route 366 miles

That's less than I thought. The only real advantage would be to avoid either Louisville or Indianapolis, but I don't think their congestion is that bad to avoid them at all costs. So it would be more of an advantage for local communities and local economy.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: Revive 755 on February 16, 2009, 06:51:34 PM
According to Google Maps:

I-70/I-74 route: 349 miles
US 50 route: 344 miles
I-64/I-71 route 366 miles

Maybe if they actually build something between St. Louis and Cincinnati someday, they should make it straighter, as I get 308 miles for a straight line between downtown St. Louis (interchange at the west end of the PSB) and downtown Cincinnati (I-71/I-75 interchange), but it involves going into Kentucky briefly.  At the very least they should use a new southern alignment between Brownstown and Dillsboro in Indiana (takes US 50 it out of Versailles State Park).

I-70 between St. Louis and Indianapolis could use an alternate anyway, which a US 50 expressway would provide when tied into the I-69 extension.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: Revive 755 on October 11, 2009, 06:43:22 PM
Section of US 50 between Lawrenceville and Olney selected for widening study:
http://www.olneydailymail.com/news/x593079160/Coalition-selects-segment-of-U-S-50-for-study (http://www.olneydailymail.com/news/x593079160/Coalition-selects-segment-of-U-S-50-for-study)
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: 3467 on November 05, 2009, 11:30:13 PM
The US 50 corridor wa salso the original Interstate 64 corridor 64 was moved south and 50 was put on the supllemental freeway sytem in 1966 and the rest is in the articles
Does anyone know why only the 57 to IN section was studies Not the 57 to St Louis Section?
If I were in the 50 group I would try to get the Delta Development Region Extended to Interstate 70
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: roadgeek on October 09, 2010, 07:24:36 PM
Finally an update!

IT’S A GO: U.S. 50 environmental, design study bid awarded

Olney, Ill. — Members of the U.S. Route 50 Coalition heard concrete news Friday that the time and money had been put behind making U.S. Route 50 four-laned is paying off.

Sherry Phillips, with the Illinois Department of Transportation, told participants in the group’s first annual golf outing that the consultant for phase I of the project had been announced.

Hutchison Engineering, out of Jacksonville, Ill., has been awarded the contract which includes environmental and design work on a stretch of road that goes from Lawrenceville to near the Wal-Mart Distribution Center west of Olney.

Gary Hutchison, president of Hutchison Engineering, said this part of the work will take roughly five years.

The environmental study is slated to take 30 months and the alignment and design study another 25 months for a total of 54 months, but he added that there could be some additional time added into the total.

Along with Hutchison, CH2MHill out of Chicago will be working on the environmental study and another partner in the project is Lin Engineering out of Chatham, Ill.

The official selection was made Sept. 7 by IDOT.

Hutchison that one of the things that could make the work on Route 50 go quicker than normal is that the right of way for the project is already owned by the state.

Phillips said that at the completion of phase I work will then begin on design. She said it will be done in pieces. Those pieces, typically between four and six miles in length would then be ready for construction once funding becomes available.

She said that currently there are not enough funds to design all of the stretch between Lawrenceville and the Wal-Mart DC site, but that some pieces would be drawn up.

Originally Route 50 was slated to become Interstate 64 in the late 1950s. Those plans were later changed and the road was was pulled further south.

As part of that planning the right of way was purchased in preparation for the building of the four lane road.

Hutchison said that his team would be hosting meetings for public input and working with country and municipal officials along the route.

“We are happy to working in the area on this project and we look forward to bringing the area the best planning and design for the project,” Hutchison said.
Phillips also encouraged residents along the road to pay attention to the project and get involved, if they would like to have their input heard.

“We want people to bring us their concerns early so that we don’t run into issues during the 11th hour,” Phillips said.

Hutchison has been working on projects in the state for 65 years and has been involved recently in work on Illinois Route 29 and U.S. Route 65, both of which included projects expanding a two-lane road into four.

http://www.advocatepress.com/topstories/x105402013/IT-S-A-GO-U-S-50-environmental-design-study-bid-awarded
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: 3467 on October 26, 2010, 11:29:58 PM
http://www.dot.state.il.us/press/h092710.html
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: 3467 on October 30, 2011, 10:48:25 PM
http://www.olneydailymail.com/features/x319048560/IDOT-gives-lay-of-land-on-U-S-50-expansion

This for Olney to the exsiting 4 lane . I think they are dreaming about the whole thing . Like parts of IL 127 it has large areas of wide paved shoulder and lots of ROW . I would just repaint the lines and declare viictory
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: roadgeek on November 24, 2019, 10:07:38 PM
Have there been many updates on this?
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: seicer on November 24, 2019, 11:02:17 PM
The Shoal Creek bridge on US Route 50 east of Breese was built years before the rest of the highway (includes the creek crossing and the Frogtown Road overpass)!
https://www.historicaerials.com/location/38.620744210898614/-89.48178050014842/1981/16
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: 3467 on November 25, 2019, 10:04:37 AM
They thought the should build the most expensive part first. We have discussed recent developments or really non developments in southern Illinois notes.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: edwaleni on November 25, 2019, 01:32:27 PM
Have there been many updates on this?

I just got a confirmation today from the US50 Coalition that IDOT terminated the Olney to Lawrenceville US-50 project in 2017.

The coalition is currently trying to get it back on the IDOT project path.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: Phone_Harold on November 29, 2019, 03:23:56 PM
I drove this stretch a few weeks ago.  It was not a bad drive.  There was a lot of semi-truck traffic.

A good part of US 50 from Salem to Lawrenceville has sufficient right-a-way to do four lanes.

Looking at some old maps, part of US 50 was 4 lanes and it is now 2 lanes.  I wonder if the old US 50 alignment carried traffic in one direction and the new alignment in the other?

I do see a need to do some passing lanes to get around some of the trucks.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: 3467 on November 29, 2019, 05:26:03 PM
I think so. The corridor has had a long and confused history. I can remember maps that showed 4 lane I think around Flora or Xenia?
It makes sense to push for 20 miles of passing lanes that will cost maybe 20 million instead of some unobtainable project.
But keep the 4 lane ROW.
How were the shoulders?
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: Phone_Harold on November 30, 2019, 04:40:50 PM
It varied.

Some stretches were 4-foot shoulder for the eastbound lane, and 10-foot shoulder for the westbound lane.  Most was not.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: 3467 on November 30, 2019, 08:14:40 PM
A lot of what you are looking at is old 50. A lot of it was rebuilt about the time they were debating the 64 location and that is why there is so much ROW. 250 is part of old 59 Nd there are other parts unmarked.
There are a lot of these in Illinois but this was the biggest.
During the Blago  era there was a year where a four lane around Flora and Olney were in the budget and disappeared. I will try to find those documents.
If they were smart they would pull a Missouri and repave and repaint the lines between Lebanon bypass and Carlyle and declare victory.I

Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: edwaleni on November 30, 2019, 08:34:05 PM
A lot of what you are looking at is old 50. A lot of it was rebuilt about the time they were debating the 64 location and that is why there is so much ROW. 250 is part of old 59 Nd there are other parts unmarked.
There are a lot of these in Illinois but this was the biggest.
During the Blago  era there was a year where a four lane around Flora and Olney were in the budget and disappeared. I will try to find those documents.
If they were smart they would pull a Missouri and repave and repaint the lines between Lebanon bypass and Carlyle and declare victory.I

As I noted in a prior post on US-50.

There were brief segments that did get the 4 lane treatment and actually opened to traffic but has since been removed.

The US-50/US-45 South intersection east of Flora is still 4 lane today.

The US-50/Main Street is still there.

The US-50/US-45 North was 40% complete when work was stopped. The lanes west of US-45 were poured and the storm viaduct was finished on the east side, but the project never finished. The contracts were cancelled due to budget cuts.

US-50 four lane was poured from Red Maple Road to Xenia Road and actually opened for use as a 4 lane road with the abrupt end at Xenia Road. Sometime later the south set of lanes were taken out of service. I know this because I actually rode on it right after it opened.  My dad used to complain how it went 4 lane for just a couple of miles just to hit a flashing red to turn left where it ended. The "Xenia Halt" stuck around for many years before IDOT finished the ROW acquisition to bring it down to the 1924 ROW.

It is pretty much the way it was when the contracts were cancelled in 1975.

Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: 3467 on November 30, 2019, 10:43:40 PM
I think that those were stuck in one of the annual plans in the early part of this century.
Then removed. Will look them up.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: roadgeek on August 18, 2020, 01:58:05 PM
At one time I was kinda excited for this to happen but now I feel it's not necessary. US-50 isn't a bad drive at all really.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: edwaleni on August 18, 2020, 11:13:17 PM
At one time I was kinda excited for this to happen but now I feel it's not necessary. US-50 isn't a bad drive at all really.

Usage is higher between O'Fallon in the west to Carlyle (IL-127)

ADT picks up again between Odin and Salem (I-57) to over 10,000 due to several large trucking firm transfer docks located just west of the I-57 ramps. It tends to distort to measurements.

The "dead zone" is between Flora and Olney. Flora traffic tends to go west to reach I-57, Olney traffic (driven by a Walmart Distro Center) tends to travel east to Vincennes.

Flora got upgraded because it was where US-45 and US-50 were cosigned and the original I-64 route was going to take it north of those towns. When I-64 shifted south, they demoted the co-signed route to a simple bypass.

Richland County Development Corporation (Olney) was working to get a new biz/industrial park east of town where US-50 crosses the CSX Illinois Sub. They wanted US-50 to be 4 lane all the way to the west side of Olney to help them develop it. (because Commercial RE brokers have a 4 lane on their check offs).

CSX refused to pay for a siding and Olney tried to get a federal grant to cover the cost. Then everything fell apart because the brokers couldn't get any tenants to agree unless they got municipal water out to the site. Olney didn't have the money to extend their water main and build a required water tower to the site. (Not without a referendum)  When this happened they stopped taking action on the federal grant for the CSX siding and it fell by the wayside. Today it remains growing corn and soybeans.

Until it becomes economic to frac oil in this area, (and it has lots of difficult to reach oil) US-50 will pretty much stay as it is east of Salem for quite a while. IL-EPA rules are so stringent and cumbersome its just not profitable unless oil hits some ungodly amount. Illinois allows companies to strip mine the heck out of the corn fields and take them out of production, but an oil frac is almost out of the question. Doesn't make sense.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: KCRoadFan on November 30, 2020, 08:53:45 PM
I-70 between St. Louis and Indianapolis could use an alternate anyway, which a US 50 expressway would provide when tied into the I-69 extension.

And how different would that be from just taking I-64 to I-69 near Evansville, a route that already exists?
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: ilpt4u on November 30, 2020, 08:57:30 PM
I-70 between St. Louis and Indianapolis could use an alternate anyway, which a US 50 expressway would provide when tied into the I-69 extension.
And how different would that be from just taking I-64 to I-69 near Evansville, a route that already exists?
Or even I-55->I-72->I-74
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: Revive 755 on November 30, 2020, 10:37:17 PM
And how different would that be from just taking I-64 to I-69 near Evansville, a route that already exists?
Or even I-55->I-72->I-74

Going up to Springfield to pick up I-72 would involve using I-55, which is much more unpleasant than I-70 and in need of six lanes.

Distance-wise, from the state line on the PSB to about the Virginia Avenue overpass on I-65/I-70 using Google:

* Via I-70:   241 miles
* Via I-64, I-69, and the current IN 37 corridor:  311 miles
* Via US 50, US 41, IN 641, and I-70:  279 miles (281 if one stays on I-64 to IL 4)
* Via US 50, I-69, and current IN 37:  289 miles (using IL 4 to Lebanon)
* Via US 50, I-57, and I-70, using IL 4 to Lebanon:  261 miles
* Via I-55, I-72, I-57, I-74, I-465, and I-70:  317 miles (also getting 317 if IN 32 is used to cut over to I-65)
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: edwaleni on December 01, 2020, 01:23:39 PM
US 50's big demerit is that it has to cross a large amount of land that was not flattened by the last round of glaciers in Southern Indiana. The railroads didn't mind, they built tunnels (now CSX).

When I-64 was envisioned they thought they were going to use the "Cahokia Trace" route from St Louis to Vincennes and then the "Buffalo Lick Trace" to Louisville. (now US-150)

In the post glacial period, massive herds of buffalo used to cross Illinois into Indiana to reach the salt rocks near French Lick and created a path that was worn down and had few trees.

I-64 got moved south and the Cahokia/Buffalo route was demoted.

Pre-interstate, US-50 was used by trucks going from Cincy to St Louis. Even though it was curvy, it avoided Indianapolis congestion.

Now with I-74 and I-70 both using relatively flat and straight routing, it makes US 50 less economic. If US-50 had been straightened out in Indiana, you would see less traffic via Indy, but that just wasn't sensible.

Now this is impacting the railroad as well. CSX is demoting the route that US-50 originally followed because it is too curvy and has tunnels that can't take double stacks. So they are routing traffic in/out of Cincy and Louisville at Seymour.

This leaves the same section in southern Indiana as an island, and many believe it will also get neglected like US-50 does.

For road historians, there is a remnant of the original Cahokia Trace in eastern Richland County just off US-50.  Last I checked there was maybe a 2 mile area of the original Buffalo Trace left, trees still don't grow there.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: Life in Paradise on December 01, 2020, 01:29:14 PM
Had officials been able to swing I-64 even further south through Evansville (would have saved the Lloyd "Expressway" from being built), you would have had more of a reason to pursue an upgraded US-50 through Illinois and Indiana.  With I-64 running where it is in Illinois, it doesn't make much sense there, although a four lane US-50 corridor through Southern Indiana towards Cincinnati would be nice (to help business like the Appalachian routes).
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: Avalanchez71 on March 09, 2021, 02:29:41 PM
What a waste.  I-64 was built just to the south.  US 50 is sufficient.  Yes I have travelled this corridor.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: Revive 755 on March 10, 2021, 10:44:21 PM
^ Lebanon needs a bypass.  The Lebanon - Carlyle section gets a good amount of weekend traffic and could use more passing opportunities.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: edwaleni on March 11, 2021, 09:16:11 AM
^ Lebanon needs a bypass.  The Lebanon - Carlyle section gets a good amount of weekend traffic and could use more passing opportunities.

It will get it. It is in the new IDOT spending bill. The EIS has to be updated as well as the engineering.

Of question is how the bypass will end on the south side of town. Will it be a mound of dirt surrounded by 2 ramps, or a ground level 3 way stop.

The mound of dirt assumes they want to continue it west. A ground level signal says this is as good as it gets for the next 25 years.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: 3467 on March 11, 2021, 11:16:52 AM
Ever find out what happened to Olney to Lawrenceville?
Considering it was bypassed by 62 when Lebanon bypass is done 91 of its 124 miles is some combination of 4 lane ROW full paved should or 4 lane segment. And Indiana is only studying 50 around 231.
IDOT could at minimal cost add some passing lanes between Lebanon and Carlyle.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: edwaleni on March 11, 2021, 03:52:02 PM
Ever find out what happened to Olney to Lawrenceville?
Considering it was bypassed by 62 when Lebanon bypass is done 91 of its 124 miles is some combination of 4 lane ROW full paved should or 4 lane segment. And Indiana is only studying 50 around 231.
IDOT could at minimal cost add some passing lanes between Lebanon and Carlyle.

As for Olney to Lawrenceville, I can only assume it lost the battle of politics. That IDOT region is quite large. Effingham has been a very, very noisy neighbor when it comes to getting road upgrades.

District 7 now includes Macon County (Decatur). So that Olney-Lawrenceville route falls further behind.

Population:
Olney - 8800
Lawrenceville - 4350
Vincennes - 17,304

Compared to:

Decatur - 70,700
Charleston - 21,900
Mattoon - 18,500
Effingham - 12,560

Olney has vacillated between 8600 and 9100 in population for the last 40 years and has stopped growing, remaining flat. Once the largest maker of bicycles outside Schwinn in Chicago (AMF Roadmaster) it now is the US base of Pacific Cycle which owns Schwinn and GT. The WalMart regional distribution center helped out. WalMart is the largest retailer of Pacific Cycle products. Why they are together.

Lawrenceville grew during the SE Illinois oil boom in 1910 and remained so when the Indian Oil Refinery opened. It peaked in the 1950's at 6500, but has been on a slow gradual decline ever since the refinery was sold to Texaco in the 1960's. The refinery is long gone and they are currently down to 4350.

Both towns had population peaks in the post war era and that drove IDOT at the time to improve the archaic US-50, (the former 2 lane IL-250 today) In fact both towns never had a depression in the 1930's.  The oil business was holding them up.

I just don't think the route will get a serious look at regional road building until the oil money returns. And its just not there right now. Olney is trying to get more manufacturing, but they are just too far from an interstate and don't have an adequate tax base. Most of their supplier traffic uses IL-33 to Effingham. Most of the finished products go US-50 in Indiana.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: 3467 on March 11, 2021, 05:50:23 PM
I just wondered if you had heard specifically since your source in the 50 group told you it was but had no reason.
Illinois has a history of leaving projects in limbo US 20 would be an example but this one  began the outright cancellations under Rainer followed by 30 51 the Eastern Bypass and the 24 336 switch.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: Revive 755 on March 11, 2021, 09:41:12 PM
Of question is how the bypass will end on the south side of town. Will it be a mound of dirt surrounded by 2 ramps, or a ground level 3 way stop.

The mound of dirt assumes they want to continue it west. A ground level signal says this is as good as it gets for the next 25 years.

I wouldn't rule out a roundabout at the end given the number of those in the Collinsville District.

Or maybe we'll get lucky and get close to an ultimate buildout with the bypass continuing down to near the IL 4/I-64 interchange.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: edwaleni on March 11, 2021, 10:48:26 PM
I just wondered if you had heard specifically since your source in the 50 group told you it was but had no reason.
Illinois has a history of leaving projects in limbo US 20 would be an example but this one  began the outright cancellations under Rainer followed by 30 51 the Eastern Bypass and the 24 336 switch.

I haven't communicated with anyone in the US50 Coalition since that last update I gave.

I might be in the area later this summer and if so, I will ask around.

You will find that IDOT has probably studied more plans since 1975 than any that got built.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: edwaleni on March 11, 2021, 11:01:39 PM
Of question is how the bypass will end on the south side of town. Will it be a mound of dirt surrounded by 2 ramps, or a ground level 3 way stop.

The mound of dirt assumes they want to continue it west. A ground level signal says this is as good as it gets for the next 25 years.

I wouldn't rule out a roundabout at the end given the number of those in the Collinsville District.

Or maybe we'll get lucky and get close to an ultimate buildout with the bypass continuing down to near the IL 4/I-64 interchange.

Nothing would make US50 improve more than to connect Air Mobility Drive (IL-158) to the Lebanon Bypass at IL-4 south of town.

IDOT already owns all the land east of IL-4 back to Old US-50 at Summerfield.

The now deceased Mayor of Lebanon who was the political catalyst to get the bypass on the spending plan, also wanted a plan for IL-4 to bypass town on the east and intersect with the new US-50 but i don't think anyone bought into it.

Since IDOT has formally given up on IL-158 (FAS-1937) being a regional arterial perhaps it will get moved to IL-4 to support the growing airport in Mascoutah.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: The Ghostbuster on March 13, 2021, 12:17:50 PM
I think that the two-lane realignment between Lebanon and Carlyle should have included a bypass of Carlyle, and should not have terminated at IL 127. Obviously, no road could ever be built across the Carlyle Reservoir, but could a bypass of Carlyle be built today without too much destruction of existing homes and businesses (among other things)?
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: 3467 on March 13, 2021, 09:49:36 PM
The supplemental freeway route should have sliced right along the lake . I don't see that happening. Also I don't see IDOT every doing a South bypass when it dropped easier improvements in the route like Olney. Also under Blago they were going to 4 lane the Flora bypass. 
The easiest project is to add 2 lanes to Carlyle. I wonder if the old bridges are usable. They look pretty bad.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: 3467 on March 13, 2021, 10:17:03 PM
Just checked there is the flood plain and wetland South of town. There is however with the Lebanon bypass a good volume case to add the lanes to 160.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: edwaleni on March 13, 2021, 10:35:35 PM
I think that the two-lane realignment between Lebanon and Carlyle should have included a bypass of Carlyle, and should not have terminated at IL 127. Obviously, no road could ever be built across the Carlyle Reservoir, but could a bypass of Carlyle be built today without too much destruction of existing homes and businesses (among other things)?

I have read the original 1972 EIS for the O'Fallon to Carlyle build out of US-50.

Much of the traffic projections was predicated on recreational traffic to Lake Carlyle, which was based on some numbers provided by the Corps of Engineers when it was built.

IL-127 also was seeing large traffic counts north of Carlyle. I would have a hard time trying to explain that today as so much small industry has disappeared in this area in the past 40-50 years. Even CSX has few online customers west of Salem on the parallel to US 50, Illinois Sub.

According to the last updated IDOT study, 2 routes around Carlyle were looked at.  The south bypass and the lower dam route.

The lower dam route was an extension of the current stub at IL-127 with a bridge immediately over the Kaskaskia River in front of the spillway. Cross over the existing ROW and run south until Huey where it would turn north to bypass it and stay just north or on top of the existing ROW. It would use existing ROW around Ferrin and then bypass Sandoval to the north and a large intersection with US-51 was planned there. With the US-51 bypass of Sandoval cancelled, this will not occur now.

The alternate route was a total south bypass that would begin at or around mile marker Clinton-17, run straight south. It would cross Old US 50 right by the WDLJ radio station tower and then turn east at or around Highline Road. An exit for IL-127 was planned and a bridge over the Kaskaskia River. There is a small bluff on the east bank there and would require the least amount of elevation. From there it would turn north and meet the other ROW plan west of Huey. In this plan the existing end of US-50 north of Caryle would become a stub to service the Lake Carlyle travelers and anyone wanting to reach IL-127 north.

While IDOT owns the land between IL-127 to about Sunrise Hill Road right in front of the dam, it will take away land from the Federally owned Spillway Recreation Area and also impinge on an old cemetery on Sunrise Hill. This is why I dont think this routing will ever get out of public hearings.

The south bypass is obviously more expensive and requires more land acquisition.

I think there is value for this route as far east as I-57 at Salem. Beyond that, forget it. Just not enough traffic.

 
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: Revive 755 on March 13, 2021, 11:00:49 PM
^ Google has the 1976 EIS:  https://books.google.com/books?id=CyI3AQAAMAAJ&lpg=RA6-PA12&ots=4wqaNMsaGF&dq=fap%20409%20eis&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q=fap%20409%20eis&f=false (https://books.google.com/books?id=CyI3AQAAMAAJ&lpg=RA6-PA12&ots=4wqaNMsaGF&dq=fap%20409%20eis&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q=fap%20409%20eis&f=false).

Not sure about the 1972 one.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: 3467 on March 14, 2021, 11:43:24 AM
I think the 72 one was more of a corridor study inn the western part. I may have it but I recall it noted the 4 lane ROW but said it was hard to use for a freeway. . Some of those old studies were really more like feasibility studies than what we think of as EIS. I am thinking 67 and 1 as well.
West 50 had a feas. Study that led to the never finished EA.
I was once at an even now decades ago then Sec. Kirk Brown was bemoaning cooperation with IN and MO. For IN it was lack of coordination. . I asked 50 and 1 and he said he was thinking Illiana and airport but those too.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: 3467 on March 14, 2021, 11:48:08 AM
I should add that long before the supplemental freeway system Illinois was working on the 50 corridor and in basically the same location 64 was proposed.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: ilpt4u on March 14, 2021, 01:57:57 PM
I should add that long before the supplemental freeway system Illinois was working on the 50 corridor and in basically the same location 64 was proposed.
Sometimes I wonder if it would not have been better for I-64 to have taken the US 50/IL and US 150/IN route between St Louis and Louisville, as originally proposed. Of course, had it taken that route, better chances I-24 between Marion and St Louis (at least the Metro East/I-255) would have been built

I still like the one BGS in E St Louis that gives EB I-64 the control of Salem...what could have been...
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: 3467 on March 14, 2021, 05:40:51 PM
I think you are right. Where is the BGS?
Though there is a study of the Southwest Route. They should have stuck to Murphysboro to Pickneyville. Big projects can really fall apart. Especially the route they want. Same distance as 24 64 and 127 64.
Another aside. First and only time anyone at IDOT recognized a Texas 4 lane. He said they have 4 lanes North of Pickneyville.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: ilpt4u on March 14, 2021, 05:56:29 PM
(http://www.billburmaster.com/rmsandw/illinois/images/64ebgsmtvsalembgs.jpg)

Pretty sure it was at the RIRO for St Clair Ave in E St Louis for EB I-64. I think it has been replaced

Crediting billburmaster.com's page on I-64 in IL
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: Revive 755 on March 14, 2021, 10:09:03 PM
^ Found where it used to be in Streetview. (https://goo.gl/maps/MiKV1FHPx4joLNkT7)
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: 3467 on March 14, 2021, 10:26:40 PM
I am thinking it's because US 50 is a concurrency...?
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: ilpt4u on March 14, 2021, 10:43:36 PM
I am thinking it's because US 50 is a concurrency...?
Not at this location, as US 50 joins I-255/the Beltway to get over to Missouri. Inside 255/at this point, there is no concurrency - just I-64

^ Found where it used to be in Streetview. (https://goo.gl/maps/MiKV1FHPx4joLNkT7)
The new BGSs at this location use the Primary controls of Louisville for EB and St Louis for WB
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: edwaleni on March 14, 2021, 10:51:52 PM
I did a quick Google Map mileage check from Effingham Illinois to Springfield Missouri.

If the car/truck goes through downtown (or can go through downtown depending on traffic conditions)

The difference is about 30-45m in favor of going I-70/I-44 over using I-57/US-50/I-64.

But if you don't/cant go through downtown St Louis and must use I-255 to reach I-44 the difference declines down to 15-20m.

If US-50 completed its bypasses from Salem west all the way to Air Mobility Drive (IL-158) to reach I-64, I estimate it would be a wash.

This might be a good alternate path to get trucks out of downtown St Louis for passthrough traffic and make good use of what US-50 is now at Jefferson Barracks.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: SkyPesos on March 14, 2021, 11:13:47 PM
I should add that long before the supplemental freeway system Illinois was working on the 50 corridor and in basically the same location 64 was proposed.
Sometimes I wonder if it would not have been better for I-64 to have taken the US 50/IL and US 150/IN route between St Louis and Louisville, as originally proposed. Of course, had it taken that route, better chances I-24 between Marion and St Louis (at least the Metro East/I-255) would have been built

I still like the one BGS in E St Louis that gives EB I-64 the control of Salem...what could have been...
If I-64 used US 50/US 150 in Indiana, I have a feeling that US 50 between the eastern 50/150 split and the I-275 interchange in Lawrenceburg would be at least a 4 lane expressway. Without an expressway US 50 between those two points, the I-64 routing wouldn't be as competitive in terms of time to the northern I-70/74 routing between St Louis and Cincy.

But with the roads they are today, I think IN 46 between I-69 in Bloomington and I-74 in Greensburg need an upgrade more than US 50 in Indiana, possibly even further west to Terre Haute. Columbus and Bloomington are larger cities than whatever is on US 50.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: Life in Paradise on March 15, 2021, 12:44:28 PM
I should add that long before the supplemental freeway system Illinois was working on the 50 corridor and in basically the same location 64 was proposed.
Sometimes I wonder if it would not have been better for I-64 to have taken the US 50/IL and US 150/IN route between St Louis and Louisville, as originally proposed. Of course, had it taken that route, better chances I-24 between Marion and St Louis (at least the Metro East/I-255) would have been built

I still like the one BGS in E St Louis that gives EB I-64 the control of Salem...what could have been...
If I-64 used US 50/US 150 in Indiana, I have a feeling that US 50 between the eastern 50/150 split and the I-275 interchange in Lawrenceburg would be at least a 4 lane expressway. Without an expressway US 50 between those two points, the I-64 routing wouldn't be as competitive in terms of time to the northern I-70/74 routing between St Louis and Cincy.

But with the roads they are today, I think IN 46 between I-69 in Bloomington and I-74 in Greensburg need an upgrade more than US 50 in Indiana, possibly even further west to Terre Haute. Columbus and Bloomington are larger cities than whatever is on US 50.
I wouldn't be against that idea, except that improving IN 46 from Bloomington to Columbus would be like pounding sand.  It was hard enough to get I-69 around Bloomington; you would be taking on the Nashville, IN community for IN 46.
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: Kniwt on March 21, 2021, 12:45:45 PM
I think IN 46 between I-69 in Bloomington and I-74 in Greensburg need an upgrade more than US 50 in Indiana, possibly even further west to Terre Haute.

I last drove IN 46 from TH to Bloomington in the Before Times, but I definitely noticed an increase in truck traffic. The hills around Spencer desperately need more climbing lanes in addition to the old old one near McCormick's Creek -- not just to get around trucks, but all the locals driving their 1959 Ramblers at 32mph. :)

The alignment through the hills just isn't very good, mostly the original lines. But I agree: Getting any meaningful improvements in the rural areas seems next to impossible now. (Ellettsville to Bloomington is nice now, but that mostly serves commuters.)
Title: Re: A Little US-50 History in Southern Illinois -- Interesting Article
Post by: edwaleni on March 22, 2021, 09:11:18 AM
I think IN 46 between I-69 in Bloomington and I-74 in Greensburg need an upgrade more than US 50 in Indiana, possibly even further west to Terre Haute.

I last drove IN 46 from TH to Bloomington in the Before Times, but I definitely noticed an increase in truck traffic. The hills around Spencer desperately need more climbing lanes in addition to the old old one near McCormick's Creek -- not just to get around trucks, but all the locals driving their 1959 Ramblers at 32mph. :)

The alignment through the hills just isn't very good, mostly the original lines. But I agree: Getting any meaningful improvements in the rural areas seems next to impossible now. (Ellettsville to Bloomington is nice now, but that mostly serves commuters.)

I like that road out of Spencer. Take my motorcycle out and romp on that baby on early Sunday mornings. It's a hoot!