Grassroots Call for Safety
Illinois Route 29 Expressway Extension
The public’s call to improve the 30-mile section of Illinois Route 29 southeast of Springfield was loud and determined in response to serious safety issues, leading to the creation of a grassroots organization to champion its expansion from a two-lane highway to a four-lane rural expressway. Crawford, Murphy & Tilly (CMT) played a unique role in the development of the project through all phases in order to provide consistency in public involvement efforts and to facilitate meeting critical deadlines under a watchful public eye. CMT’s scope of services included all planning, environmental, design and title research as well as right-of-way documents along the corridor.
Extensive meetings with area farmers concerned about potential flooding impacts resulted in the implementation of innovative right-of-way and drainage solutions for the project. In determining the alignment for the expanded highway, we were careful to preserve native Illinois prairie grass growing along the roadway, while limiting the amount of prime farmland that would need to be acquired. The design also included a bike path that runs along an abandoned railway that parallels the highway.
The final section of the project was completed in early 2017.