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MONTICELLO – Only one of the options presented during Thursday's public meeting for proposed improvements to the Monticello truck route drew applause from the crowd – the one that proposed abandoning the project.
Richard Payne, the President of ESCA Consultants Inc. of Champaign presented the options to a crowd of residents that included mostly members of the Monticello group CURBS (Citizens United for Responsible Boulevard Solutions).
Years ago, the train from Chicago to Grandpa's house on Kimball Street would stop on top of Fairchild Subway.
Gonzales Smith would get off, walk down a flight of stairs to Kimball Street and wheel his suitcase the four or five remaining blocks to his grandpa's, the 48-year-old Danville native recalled.
CATLIN – Village officials said Tuesday they were frustrated by the pace of the Webster Street bridge renovation project, and by the problems that have cropped up along the way.
Village board member Tom Taylor said the project is about one-third of the way done and there is no chance that the work would be done by Nov. 1, the engineers' initial projection.
PHILO – A rural Philo intersection where a road and train tracks meet has gotten some safety improvements, thanks to a state grant.
In the spring, the Illinois Commerce Commission approved plans for the installation of automatic flashing light signals and gates at the crossing where County Road 1400 E meets the Norfolk Southern railway's track. The warning devices cost just over $191,000. The Grade Crossing Protection Fund, state money used for safety improvements at highway-rail grade crossings on local roads, paid 95 percent of the cost.
CHAMPAIGN – Effective today, the city of Champaign is closing three bridges and posting load limits on three others.
Many of the bridges in question cross the Boneyard Creek just south and north of University Avenue along Second Street, and were originally scheduled to be removed or replaced in 2009 or 2010 as part of the Boneyard Creek Second Street detention improvement project.
DANVILLE – Neil Flannery lives in the country northwest of Danville, but in the mornings and evenings, his rural road seems more like a rush hour in town.
"I literally have to wait to get out of the driveway," said Flannery, who lives at the corner of Denmark Road and West Newell, which has become a popular alternate route into Danville since a bridge replacement project on Illinois 1 began earlier this year.
DANVILLE – A seal-coat project is set to begin this month on nearly 70 streets and 11 miles of roads in the northern half of the city, and some residents said while the repairs are only temporary, they are still much needed.
"It's a dressing," said Dick Miller, who lives in the 1100 block of Collett Street, one of the streets on the list.
BEMENT – When Topflight Grain was pursuing village approval for a new railroad siding on Bement's southwest side, it was already on Plan B.
The original plan was to build the rail siding straight east, parallel to existing Norfolk Southern railroad tracks, said Scott Docherty, the general manager of Topflight Grain. The siding is required by the railroad because it allows the Bement-based co-op to control grain cars it's filling. This prevents other trains on the track from having to stop and wait behind grain cars that are being filled.
Here's an overview of bridges in Ford and Iroquois counties:
TUSCOLA – Last year, state and county inspectors visited the bridges that carry U.S. 45 over the CSX railroad tracks and U.S. 36 in Tuscola.
When a piece of equipment punched right through the bridge decks, the inspectors knew something was wrong.