AARoads Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Southwest Illinois Connector  (Read 1822 times)

edwaleni

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 800
  • Last Login: Today at 08:45:47 AM
Southwest Illinois Connector
« on: January 13, 2020, 04:18:54 PM »

The report has been released for the 'Southwest Illinois Connector'.  https://www.siconnector.com/  The report has a map for previous studies, including one prior to the Supplemental Freeway corridor which would have used IL 13 and IL 15.

Kind of disappointing there's no mention in the report of getting a better bypasses for Waterloo or Columbia.

Reviewing this updated map for the first time I would have a few questions:

Why route through Pickneyville? Population, politics, the huge prison next door?
IL-127 for the N/S route instead of US-51 which is strategic (supposedly) for Illinois?
What happened the the IL-4 route to reach IL-13 and Murphysboro?
Logged

3467

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1198
  • Last Login: Today at 10:35:52 AM
Re: Southwest Illinois Connector
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2020, 05:46:53 PM »

I could only conclude this is a local consensus for the route and the Environmental Assessment and prior work has been done from Pickneyville south. They are smart for that . They could actually get some construction done on that segment they may get that even if the other 49 miles never happen.
Logged

ilpt4u

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 1939
  • Location: Southern IL
  • Last Login: Today at 10:53:12 AM
Re: Southwest Illinois Connector
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2020, 07:55:11 AM »

It does appear they want to get thru traffic away from the downtown Pickneyville square, which is helpful

That said, even if this route were to fully develop from Columbia to Murphysboro, I would probably still use IL 127 to I-64 to get to Downtown STL or to Lambert Field
Reviewing this updated map for the first time I would have a few questions:

Why route through Pickneyville? Population, politics, the huge prison next door?
IL-127 for the N/S route instead of US-51 which is strategic (supposedly) for Illinois?
What happened the the IL-4 route to reach IL-13 and Murphysboro?

US 51 south of Salem is too close to I-57 to develop as a separate corridor. IL 127 is far enough away from I-57 that it is attractive for those west of I-57 to use that to go North to I-64 and the St Louis area instead of heading out of the way to I-57

The best/quickest (current) route up to Waterloo and Columbia involves using a bunch of County Rds to bypass Red Bud, Sparta, Steeleville, etc. That said, probably not that great on Safety, when using the County backroads to bypass towns...
Logged

Konza

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 253
  • Age: 63
  • Location: Southeast Arizona
  • Last Login: September 27, 2020, 11:53:33 PM
Re: Southwest Illinois Connector
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2020, 11:56:33 AM »

Is there a reason this proposed highway does not connect to an Interstate highway at either end?
Logged
Main Line Interstates clinched:  4, 8, 11, 12, 17, 19, 20, 30, 39, 43, 45, 57, 68, 72, 78, 80, 88 (IL)

kphoger

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 13953
  • Location: Wichita, KS
  • Last Login: September 18, 2020, 05:03:54 PM
Re: Southwest Illinois Connector
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2020, 11:58:49 AM »

It does appear they want to get thru traffic away from the downtown Pickneyville square, which is helpful

While I understand Pinkneyville residents' opposition to a bypass, it astounds me that they have apparently considered the constant traffic headache at the square to be acceptable.  If I lived there, I'd absolutely hate having to drive through the square on a regular basis, especially with all the truck traffic that navigates it.
Logged
Keep right except to pass.  Yes.  You.

ilpt4u

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 1939
  • Location: Southern IL
  • Last Login: Today at 10:53:12 AM
Re: Southwest Illinois Connector
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2020, 02:19:21 PM »

Is there a reason this proposed highway does not connect to an Interstate highway at either end?
IL 3 already is a Divided Rural Expressway feeding into I-255 north of Columbia, and IL 13 already is mostly 6 lane divided highway to Marion and I-57, with a few short sections still 4 lane between Murphysboro and Marion

To say it another way, the connecting highways to the Interstates are already there and built

A Fictional I-24 extension from Marion to Columbia is a Freeway version of this corridor
Logged

3467

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1198
  • Last Login: Today at 10:35:52 AM
Re: Southwest Illinois Connector
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2020, 05:44:08 PM »

There are explanations in the old documents on their website that explain a direct extension is not viable because it would slice through the wildlife refuge.
A roundabout is funded now in Pickneyville. It's on the featured projects page too.
So a 4 lane expressway South of Pickneyville is still viable without the bypass.
Logged

edwaleni

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 800
  • Last Login: Today at 08:45:47 AM
Re: Southwest Illinois Connector
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2020, 07:42:46 PM »

There are explanations in the old documents on their website that explain a direct extension is not viable because it would slice through the wildlife refuge.
A roundabout is funded now in Pickneyville. It's on the featured projects page too.
So a 4 lane expressway South of Pickneyville is still viable without the bypass.

I find it kind of interesting that there is such desire to protect many of these nature areas, because most of these areas are former strip mines that have been in business in the area since the late 1800's. Southern Illinois coal used to fire the boilers to make the steel in Gary, Indiana and run the industry in Chicago. Now it just fires boilers for power companies that can still get high sulfur permits. And Illinois coal certainly has the sulfur.

I have some of the same questions about Pickneyville that I asked about the Lebanon Bypass.  People say they don't like the trucks going through town, but they also don't like the loss of business in their downtowns when people are bypassed around them.  Some states are trying to get around this by defining the bypass as a signed "Truck Route" when you know darn well that anyone in transit will don't bother to go into town if they don't have to.

I definitely agree that there has to be better connectivity between the Carbondale/Marion/West Frankfort MSA and the Metro East. But Illinois just spent $22 million on upgrading the airport with the promise that Allegiant Air would come back (they didn't).  When I fly out of Belleville (Mid-America) on Allegiant half the passengers are from Marion. There is always plenty of grumbling of what the drive can be like.

Logged

kphoger

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 13953
  • Location: Wichita, KS
  • Last Login: September 18, 2020, 05:03:54 PM
Re: Southwest Illinois Connector
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2020, 08:04:14 PM »

My wife an I once flew out of Williamson County Regional Airport, to Minneapolis via Saint Louis.  Quite convenient.
Logged
Keep right except to pass.  Yes.  You.

3467

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1198
  • Last Login: Today at 10:35:52 AM
Re: Southwest Illinois Connector
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2020, 09:09:23 PM »

Some of the old documents mentioned trying to use old strip mined land to minimize impacts but there is a subsidence risk.....
Logged

edwaleni

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 800
  • Last Login: Today at 08:45:47 AM
Re: Southwest Illinois Connector
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2020, 11:18:44 AM »

My wife an I once flew out of Williamson County Regional Airport, to Minneapolis via Saint Louis.  Quite convenient.

Cape Air just announced new service to Nashville from Veterans Airport of Southern Illinois (new name of the airport outside Marion).

Not many people know it, but the FAA subsidizes every flight in and out of Veterans.

Depending on the destination involved, for many people its cheaper to drive to Belleville, than to use Cape Air through Lambert in StL.

Allegiant already serves a large number of Illinois cities outside of Chicago.

Belleville (busiest by far)
Springfield
Bloomington
Rockford
Peoria

And they serve both Evansville and Owensboro across the Ohio River.

So I think this MSA is just not quite big enough to get a regularly scheduled major carrier.

So a highway update plan is completely in line with its size.
Logged

Rothman

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 6102
  • Last Login: Today at 12:45:01 AM
Re: Southwest Illinois Connector
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2020, 03:21:30 PM »

Interesting.  Cape Air has been very slowly closing routes in the Northeast (oh, the irony).
Logged
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position(s) of NYSDOT.

ilpt4u

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 1939
  • Location: Southern IL
  • Last Login: Today at 10:53:12 AM
Re: Southwest Illinois Connector
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2020, 08:40:41 PM »

The Government subsidized Passenger Air Service from MWA was up for renewal in 2019...5 carriers applied...Cape Air and SkyWest dba United Express were the Finalists

Cape Air's winning bid was slightly lower frequency to STL but adding flights to BNA...sold as the bid that connects to the 2 closest major, but not hub, airports, and more frequency

SkyWest's bid was 1 or 2 round trips to ORD daily...sold as the only bid that connects to a major hub airport

What probably hurt the SkyWest bid the most, is SkyWest basically has that 1 or 2 round trip service to ORD already at PAH and CGI, right across the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, respectively
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 08:49:01 PM by ilpt4u »
Logged

edwaleni

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 800
  • Last Login: Today at 08:45:47 AM
Re: Southwest Illinois Connector
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2020, 08:37:02 PM »

The Government subsidized Passenger Air Service from MWA was up for renewal in 2019...5 carriers applied...Cape Air and SkyWest dba United Express were the Finalists

Cape Air's winning bid was slightly lower frequency to STL but adding flights to BNA...sold as the bid that connects to the 2 closest major, but not hub, airports, and more frequency

SkyWest's bid was 1 or 2 round trips to ORD daily...sold as the only bid that connects to a major hub airport

What probably hurt the SkyWest bid the most, is SkyWest basically has that 1 or 2 round trip service to ORD already at PAH and CGI, right across the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, respectively

BNA is big on Southwest. If SkyWest was taking you to ORD, your other discount choices outside a connection with United was Frontier or Spirit.  Southwest only does MDW in Chicago.  So I can only speculate that BNA was a better choice.

Not to get too far off the road here, but Allegiant has so many non-metro airfields in their service in the midwest, I have regularly flown into one and flown back from another airport.

I have flown to Indianapolis and back from Northern Kentucky (Cincy).  Flown to Plattsburgh, New York, but back from Bangor, Maine.

Once flew into Belleville but needed a different date and flew out of Bloomington instead. Some friends of mine in Decatur fly out of Peoria regularly.

Flew into Springfield, MO  and flew back from XNA (Northwest Arkansas).

My take is that if there is a decent interstate or 4-lane freeway between the airports, it does work. I have yet to have a rental car agent squawk about a drop off. At these small airports, any biz is good biz to them.

So if by improving transit times between Belleville and the southern tier increases access to air options, I would agree with it.
Logged

ilpt4u

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 1939
  • Location: Southern IL
  • Last Login: Today at 10:53:12 AM
Re: Southwest Illinois Connector
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2020, 01:38:12 PM »

So if by improving transit times between Belleville and the southern tier increases access to air options, I would agree with it.
Another benefit of increasing connectivity to BLV...the "other" half of that airfield is known as Scott Air Force Base, with just a few employees working and Service personnel stationed there
« Last Edit: January 19, 2020, 01:40:18 PM by ilpt4u »
Logged

edwaleni

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 800
  • Last Login: Today at 08:45:47 AM
Re: Southwest Illinois Connector
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2020, 07:39:34 PM »

So if by improving transit times between Belleville and the southern tier increases access to air options, I would agree with it.
Another benefit of increasing connectivity to BLV...the "other" half of that airfield is known as Scott Air Force Base, with just a few employees working and Service personnel stationed there

Illinois is extending METRO to Mid-America Airport:

https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/illinois-to-pay-for-long-sought-metrolink-extension-to-midamerica/article_473ea616-75fc-57d1-a131-6ae83a69eea2.html

As for Scott AFB:

Recent road upgrades have been in support of it being made HQ for Air Mobility Command.

They also house several Cyber squadrons, Medical Airlift and some other commands.

Boeing has several technical resources there for F-18 testing.

There has been some discussion in the Illinois delegation about getting an ANG squadron rebased at either Springfield or Scott.

If it does go to Scott, that would again drive traffic as I am sure there are several ANG reservists who live in the southern tier.
Logged

Revive 755

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4045
  • Last Login: September 20, 2020, 09:59:28 PM
Re: Southwest Illinois Connector
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2020, 10:57:19 PM »

^ MidAmerica has enough passenger traffic to justify a light rail connection?  Unless there has been an explosion in traffic at that airport, this reeks of pork.

If Illinois reallly cared about road connections to Scott AFB, they should have kept the corridor protected for the Gateway Connector between I-55/I-70 and I-64. 
Logged

edwaleni

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 800
  • Last Login: Today at 08:45:47 AM
Re: Southwest Illinois Connector
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2020, 02:16:31 PM »

^ MidAmerica has enough passenger traffic to justify a light rail connection?  Unless there has been an explosion in traffic at that airport, this reeks of pork.

If Illinois reallly cared about road connections to Scott AFB, they should have kept the corridor protected for the Gateway Connector between I-55/I-70 and I-64.

It didn't for years, so the Metro extension was shelved....however....

Quote
MidAmerica’s director, Tim Cantwell, said the airport last year served about 305,000 passengers, up from 50,000 in 2015. This year the total is projected to reach about 330,000, he said.

Pretty healthy for a 2 gate airport.

They also built a new parking facility which eliminated the free parking (which I think was stupid) and Enterprise has expanded their rental car lot there. Though it is still staffed out of the O'Fallon office.  Free parking is a huge inducement for leisure travel, which BLV is supporting.

Unfortunately, there have been some very visible and public crime lately on Metro downtown which is scaring away riders.

As for BLV here are the stats.  Unfortunately nothing is measured on where those people are coming from.

I would hazard a guess that at least 10-12% are coming from the Carbondale/Marion MSA.

Rank   Airport   Passengers   Carrier
1   Destin, FL: VPS   31,360   Allegiant
2   St. Petersburg, FL: PIE   26,600   Allegiant
3   Punta Gorda, FL: PGD   23,430   Allegiant
4   Sanford, FL: SFB   22,140   Allegiant
5   Las Vegas, NV: LAS   14,380   Allegiant
6   Fort Lauderdale, FL: FLL   11,290   Allegiant
7   Jacksonville, FL: JAX   10,360   Allegiant
8   Mesa, AZ: AZA   8,990   Allegiant
9   Myrtle Beach, SC: MYR   4,790   Allegiant


Annual Domestic Passenger Traffic, 2005–Present[3]
Year   Total Passengers   % Change
2005   28,000   Steady
2006   49,550   Increase 76.96%
2007   51,370   Increase 3.67%
2008   47,030   Decrease 8.45%
2009   374   Decrease 99.20%
2010   274   Decrease 26.74%
2011   0   Decrease 100%
2012   3,830   Steady
2013   25,550   Increase 567.10%
2014   31,340   Increase 18.47%
2015   62,730   Increase 100.16%
2016   157,433   Increase 150.97%
2017   245,028   Increase 55.64%
2018   302,409   Increase 23.42%
Logged

NE2

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 14016
  • fuck

  • Age: 12
  • Location: central Florida
  • Last Login: September 29, 2020, 11:02:20 PM
Re: Southwest Illinois Connector
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2020, 09:46:23 PM »

^ MidAmerica has enough passenger traffic to justify a light rail connection?  Unless there has been an explosion in traffic at that airport, this reeks of pork.
Could it be a good park and ride?
Logged
Florida route log | pre-1945
I will do my best to not make America hate again.
Global warming denial is barely worse than white privilege denial.

edwaleni

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 800
  • Last Login: Today at 08:45:47 AM
Re: Southwest Illinois Connector
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2020, 03:22:42 PM »

^ MidAmerica has enough passenger traffic to justify a light rail connection?  Unless there has been an explosion in traffic at that airport, this reeks of pork.
Could it be a good park and ride?

They haven't published a schedule since it isn't built yet, but I would say the fact you gotta pay to park now might dissuade the park and ride crowd.

If they get smart about it, they would build such a lot for the park and ride crowd, if they could keep airport people from interloping, then it could work.

I know most of the workers at BLV (TSA, Ramp control) are managed and sourced out of Lambert, so they could easily reach the site now.  The gate workers are local contractors.
Logged

ilpt4u

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 1939
  • Location: Southern IL
  • Last Login: Today at 10:53:12 AM
Re: Southwest Illinois Connector
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2020, 07:42:30 PM »

The committee on the SI Connector met today in Murphysboro. Congressman Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) was in attendance as well

Not much info on the content of the meeting from the story from WSIL-ABC3's website, but here is the story link: https://wsiltv.com/2020/02/21/coalition-seeks-funding-for-four-county-highway/

And here is the story from KFVS-CBS12's website: https://www.kfvs12.com/2020/02/22/southern-illinois-counties-say-theres-need-four-lane-expressway/

The Mayor of Murphysboro keeps posting the story links this evening, since he hosted today's meeting
« Last Edit: February 21, 2020, 07:49:51 PM by ilpt4u »
Logged

3467

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1198
  • Last Login: Today at 10:35:52 AM
Re: Southwest Illinois Connector
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2020, 09:51:23 AM »

IDOT  could certainly add a few miles of 127 . The only 4 lane projects alive are that 67 and a little part of 34 as mentioned in Southern Illinois Notes.
The Pickneyville to St Louis study will be a long one. Also hard because they will have to look at 127 to 64 as an alternate. That will take forever but they could get they 17 miles of 127 done.Looks like they are .
Logged

3467

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1198
  • Last Login: Today at 10:35:52 AM
Re: Southwest Illinois Connector
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2020, 09:52:28 AM »

I think they and IDOT  are using the Mid State connector as a model.
Logged

edwaleni

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 800
  • Last Login: Today at 08:45:47 AM
Re: Southwest Illinois Connector
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2020, 11:11:02 PM »

There are a few routes they will have to decide on.

The "Waterloo" route using IL-3 to Red Bud then IL-154 to Pickneyville

The "Belleville" route using IL-15 to Freeburg, then IL-13 to Pickneyville via New Athens

Or a combo, where you use the Belleville route to Tilden and then use IL-4 to pick up IL-154 in Sparta to reach Pickneyville.

I think they should just keep going down past Sparta on IL-154 and just east of Sparta go south and pick up IL-4 at Willisville. Then use the IL-4 route all the way to IL-127/IL-13 north of Murphysboro.  But that would skip Pickneyville and that obviously won't go over too well.

If it was about about making good time from the Metro East to Murphysboro (and on to the MSA), they would skip Pickneyville completely.

If it is about connectivity and economic development, then Pickneyville would be included.

I don't know what the big deal is with Pyramid State Park, it is just a former strip mine with a lot of trees on tailing dumps. I would rather have a more serious highway go by Kincaid Lake and attract more RV and large boat business.

Having camped, swam and boated on so many former strip mine sites in Indiana, I don't see the appeal.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2020, 11:38:54 PM by edwaleni »
Logged

3467

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1198
  • Last Login: Today at 10:35:52 AM
Re: Southwest Illinois Connector
« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2020, 06:22:14 PM »

They have done the engineering and land up to Pickneyville so I am sure of that section plus it is getting some funding in current plan.Another route is just going up 127 to 64 . Same distance to downtown and only 18 miles.
Logged

 


Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.