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|Work Begins To Add U-S 34 Bypass Near Biggsville
|A start on something that groups including even high school students have been hoping for, in some cases, over the last several years and even decades is starting to happen.
While work has already begun, the Illinois Department of Transportation Friday formally broke ground on a new U-S 34 Bypass that will essentially move an over five-mile strech of the highway in the Biggsville area from two-lanes of traffic to four-lanes.
Groups have been advocating for such work for decades, but especially since a fatal accident several years ago, like the "34 Voices" group co-founded by Justin Allaman when he was a student at West Central High School.
"While we rejoice the Biggsville Bypass will make our roadways immensely safer for our students, the goal of 34 Voices has been to see this project through to completion," says Allaman.
In the meantime, the nearly 41-million dollar Biggsville Bypass is expected to be complete by the end of the fall of 2014 and is being paid for with state Capital Construction funds.
State Senator John Sullivan of Rushville says the 41-million dollars for this work can be credited to bi-partisanship, but the "34 Voices" group started by students at West Central High School.
"A group of students from Biggsville came down to Springfield to lobby legislators to try to get the money needed for this bypass and they did it for one reason, and one reason only and that is the safety of students and parents pulling out of the high school," says Sullivan.
An estimated five-thousand-plus vehicles a day travel 34 between Monmouth and Burlington, 20 percent of which are trucks.
(An IDOT map detailing where the new U.S. 34 Bypass will go.)
(State Sen. John Sullivan talks with constituents prior to the start of the ceremony at IDOT's Biggsville Yard.)
(A large crowd assembled for the groundbreaking ceremony.)
(Former West Central High School students Justin Allaman and Julianna Gillam, co-founders of "34 Voices," speak at Friday's ceremony. WGIL News Story and Photos by Will Stevenson.)
|06 21 13 by Newsroom
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