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No New Lanes for U.S. 30 in Whiteside County

Ill Dept of Transportation

After many years of study, the Illinois Department of Transportation has decided not to widen a historic highway in Whiteside County. Thursday afternoon it will hold a public open house in Morrison to explain the decision affecting US 30, from Fulton to Rock Falls.

Studies and Plans Engineer, Becky Marruffo, says originally the department wanted to make the 24-mile section four lanes based on traffic projections. 

"Subsequent to that time, we have had to re-assess the traffic volumes as part of the environmental study process. And now when we look at our projections, they've dropped substantially - approximately a 20-25 per cent drop."

So in "state government speak," she says "the no build alternative has been selected."

Cost may have also played a role - the estimated cost of widening that stretch of US 30 is 460 million dollars.

But Marruffo is quick to add the Illinois DOT will continue to maintain it.

"We'd be looking at other enhancements in the future. Obviously there are pavement conditions that need to be maintained, whether it's resurfacing or pavement replacement. In particular, we know US 30 through Morrison has some pretty serious pavement condition issues."

Passing lanes and intersection improvements are also possible.

The public open house on updated plans for US 30 will be held from 4 to 7 pm in the Odell Library in Morrison. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.