This is a letter I sent to the Illinois Department of Transportation, regarding County Road 200N (aka State Road 525) which runs east-west through the Village of Broadlands. As most of you are aware, the road is in deplorable condition and has been for quite some time. I will post any reply I receive from IDOT on this issue.
Dear District 5 Transportation Department,
I am writing regarding the poor condition of a state-maintained road in southeastern Champaign County. Specifically, the road is State Road 525, also numbered as County Road 200N, which passes in an east-west direction through the Village of Broadlands. The portion of road needing urgent and comprehensive attention lies between State Road 522 (County Road 12 or 2100E) to the west and Illinois Route 49 (2700E) to the east.
Over the past several years, the potholes in this road have grown larger and deeper. Efforts to merely fill them in have proven to be mere temporary fixes at best, since the filling material seems to fall out quickly. The surface of the road is cracked. The outer edges are crumbling – in some places it appears the only thing holding the road together is the white painted stripe (where the stripe has not vanished, at least). Huge potholes in municipal roads are annoying enough, but gaping craters in high-speed roads are simply unacceptable and are dangerous.
This road is one of only two main roads that travel through our Village. The other road travels north-south, which means the road I am writing about is the only road travelling east-west though our Village. As a Village Trustee, it is my duty to advocate for the interests of the residents of the Village of Broadlands. Not only would permanent improvement of this road benefit the residents who rely on this road daily, it would facilitate travel passing through this portion of the county and neighboring counties. Indeed, our high school is located on this road, and students come from surrounding communities to the west, north, and east.
In addition to a complete resurfacing of this road, I have another suggestion which would improve the safety of travelers. As you may know, State Road 525 (200N) has a sharp S-curve just before entering the Village of Broadlands from the west. In July 2008, an accident involving a van and a motorcycle killed two people. Last fall, another accident occurred there. Drivers often fail to slow down enough, transitioning from the 55-mph to 35-mph speed limit and the approaching curve. Perhaps the State could install a rumble strip or two before the curve, coming from the west, to warn drivers to slow down and pay attention.
Recently, your department revealed plans to expand Interstate 74 from four to six lanes between Mahomet and Champaign, at an estimated cost of $71 million. A staggering $10 million was budgeted for engineering studies. Local and state officials are baffled as to how that project became such a high priority. Indeed, I, and many others, do not understand the proposed expansion, when it certainly appears the State is neglecting already existing roadways, like the road I am writing about. While our geographic area is not the most heavily populated, our residents certainly deserve to have safe roads on which to travel.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
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Complaints, especially to governmental bureaucracies, are most effective when done en masse. IDOT needs to know we are tired of our roads being ignored in favor of ludicrous interstate expansion projects. If you wish to send a letter, here is the appropriate address:
Illinois Dep’t of Transportation
13473 IL Hwy. 133
P.O. Box 610
Paris, Illinois 61944-0610
Should you wish instead to submit your opinion via internet, here is the IDOT comment submittal form.