A road construction project in the area that has drawn a considerable amount of criticism — and has indirectly resulted in a considerable amount of accidents — will officially be over next week.
The Illinois Department of Transportation says U.S. 34 most of the way between Galesburg and Monmouth will reopen to traffic by the evening of Monday, October 1.
The entirety of the road had been closed in since April for resurfacing and bridge work. While many local commuters have continued to question the wisdom of closing all four lanes of traffic at once, IDOT says not doing so would have added an extra construction season to the work. They say they had planned on closing a few lanes at a time, but decided it would be better to close the whole road.
The posted alternate route for travel between Galesburg and Monmouth is Illinois 164, which has seen numerous backups, accidents, and other problems, and an almost daily barrage of complaints — in part because the speed limit is 55 miles per hour, not 65, as is on most of 34.
IDOT says once 34 opens, there will still be intermittent lane closures to finish up some work, and they urge motorists to slow down and pay attention in all construction zones.