Illinois Route 255


Illinois Route 255

Infobox Illinois state route
article_route = 255
length_mi = 13.86
length_round = 2
length_ref = cite web |author=Illinois Technology Transfer Center |url=http://www.dot.state.il.us/gist2/select.html |title=T2 GIS Data |accessdate=2007-11-08 |date=2006]
direction_a = Southeast
direction_b=Northwest
starting_terminus =
ending_terminus = Fosterburg Road in Alton
counties = Madison
cities = Alton
established = October 1998Carlson, Rich. [http://www.n9jig.com/203-up.html Illinois Highways Page: Routes 203 and up] . Last updated April 15, 2005. Retrieved May 30, 2006.]
prev_route = 255
prev_type = Interstate
next_route = 267

Illinois Route 255, also referred to as the Alton Bypass (though it does not yet completely bypass Alton), is a northwesterly extension of Interstate 255 in southwestern Illinois. Illinois 255 starts at I-270 in Pontoon Beach and currently ends at Fosterburg Road in Alton, a distance of convert|13.86|mi|km|2.

Route description

Illinois 255 is a four-lane, limited-access freeway for its entire length. It serves as an important circumferential artery for the northeastern portion of the St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan area. When completed it will extend convert|21|mi|km|0|abbr=on—from Interstate 270 near Edwardsville to U.S. Highway 67 in Godfrey. As of October 2006 its northwestern terminus was located at Fosterburg Road in Fosterburg (near NE Alton) following the opening that month of a new convert|7.2|mi|km|1|abbr=on stretch that extended the highway from its former terminus at Illinois Route 143 in Roxana to Illinois Route 140 in Bethalto and thence to Fosterburg Road. Between Illinois Routes 143 and 140 the highway passes just to the west of St. Louis Regional Airport. Recently an extension to Seminary Rd. in Godfrey, Il was opened. Although designed to federal interstate-highway standards, Illinois 255 is being built by the Illinois Department of Transportation using state-provided funds.

History

Described as "The Road to Prosperity" by business leaders and government officials who initially proposed it in the late 1970s, Illinois 255 was part of a region-wide effort to create a high-speed alternative to U.S. Route 67 over the Clark Bridge through the city-center of Alton, and to two congested local routes, Illinois Routes 3 and 111, that roughly parallel the Illinois 255 corridor.

The first 6.5 (10.5 km) mile segment of Illinois 255, from Interstate 270 to Illinois 143, was completed in October 1998 at cost of $40 million excluding land acquisition. [Kim Harvey's St. Louis Highway Page. [http://members.tripod.com/~harv75/illinois/ab.htm Illinois 255: The Alton Bypass] . Last updated October 14, 1998. Retrieved June 2, 2006] The freeway extension to Fosterburg Road was opened on October 20, 2006, approximately one year behind schedule, owing to the 2005 collapse of the Wisconsin-based construction company that held the contract for that portion of the extension between Illinois Routes 143 and 140. The second segment cost approximately $78.1 million also excluding land acquisition. Trucks are required to exit the freeway at exit 10 due to the weight restrictions on Fosterburg Road.

Future

The next section of Illinois 255 that is funded and under construction runs from Fosterburg Road to Seminary Road in rural northeast Alton. As of June 2006, $19.9 million had been set aside for this portion of Illinois 255, including a $9.2 million contract for grading which was underway in October 2006. Once grading is completed, another contract will be let for paving, expected in June 2007. Opening of this penultimate segment is anticipated in Autumn 2008.Schmidt, Sanford J. "Lawmakers save Illinois 255 funding." "The Telegraph" (Alton, Illinois). March 11, 2006. Retrieved June 2, 2006. .]

The final segment to be constructed will run from Seminary Road to U.S. 67 south of Godfrey. Although monies for preliminary engineering studies have been budgeted, no construction funds have been allocated for this segment as of October 2006. The best-case scenario anticipates completion of the entire Alton Bypass in 2011.

Upon completion, the IL-255 route may or may not be resigned as an Interstate Route. If the corridor were to be signed with the even number I-255, it would violate the interstate numbering scheme guidelines since it is a spur route. I-155 and I-355 already exist in Illinois, it could correctly be signed as either I-555, I-755(unlikely as it was reserved for the partially built Missouri Route 755 freeway), or I-955.

Construction of a new expressway route for U.S. 67 is planned to follow the corridor through White Hall, Carrollton, and Jerseyville and will end in Godfrey near the Illinois Route 255 extension.

Interchanges

Information on future interchanges comes from the appendix ( [http://www.growthassociation.com/I255/12Appendix.pdf] ) to a corridor study done by The Growth Association ( [http://www.growthassociation.com] ), the Chamber of Commerce and economic development organization to communities north of St. Louis.

Pictures

References


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