Oates Associates was hired by the Illinois Department of Transportation to conduct a study to determine the feasibility of a north / south corridor, either on existing roadway alignment or on a new alignment to improve safety, operation, capacity and access to IL-255 from downtown Alton via Martin Luther King Boulevard.
Nine alternates were considered for this study including new alignments, the widening of existing alignments, and alignments that combined existing alignments with new corridor sections. The study evaluates each alternate and makes recommendations on a preferred group of alternates that fall within a similar framework. Criteria used to determine the preferred alternative include: constructability, roadway deficiencies, safety, construction costs, right-of-way, relocations, public recreational areas, environmentally sensitive areas, wetlands, flood plains, major utility facilities, impacts to the traveling public, as well as any other social, economic, and engineering effects caused by potential improvements.
This study will be used as a scoping guide for future studies of more detail, if warranted. Recommendations derived from this study will be used for detailed analysis during preliminary engineering design (Phase 1), which is expected to begin in late 2011. The Phase 1 engineering study will be a more detailed analysis using actual field surveys and investigations resulting in the recommendation of a preferred route or routes.
The Alton Feasibility Study was established to explore ideas suggested in the IL-255 Transportation and Growth Management Plan - an initiative for the northwestern portion of IL-255 communities to support the growth of the corridor. IL-255 is believed to have the potential of one of the fastest growing areas in northern Madison County. The growth spurred from this opportunity will need infrastructure support that can balance urban sprawl and maintain harmony within the study area’s physical environment.