Macomb Bypass

TSPR's Jonathan Ahl

Governor Pat Quinn Friday released $35 million of state money to begin paving the Macomb Bypass that will route drivers northwest of town.

Rich Egger

Illinois has released $32.9 million to pay for the next phase of the Macomb bypass.

Western Illinois Regional Council

Highway bypasses have been built around some western Illinois communities and more are coming. A grant from IDOT will allow the Western Illinois Regional Council to study the impact of those bypasses.

Illinois lawmakers are sure to hear next year from transportation advocates who say the state needs a new capital bill to pay for transit projects and boost the economy.

The case was made August 22 by the Transportation for Illinois Coalition, which held a regional summit in Macomb. The Coalition is made up of business and labor representatives as well as politicians of both major parties.

Rich Egger

Macomb is in talks with BNSF that could help the city expand. The plan is to annex the railroad's right-of-way westward to the future site of the Macomb bypass.

“Our primary goal is to take advantage of those folks willing to come in that are businesses -- commercial developments -- that bring sales tax revenue in to the city,” said Mayor Mike Inman.

He said the annexation might also increase the city's population base, though he feels that would be “icing on the cake.”

Inman said Macomb and BNSF have been in negotiations for the better part of a year.

Work will begin Thursday, July 5 to build a bridge that will carry Route 136 traffic over the future Route 336. The project is the beginning of the Macomb Bypass.

Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider came to the area for the groundbreaking ceremony, which took place on a hot and humid afternoon in a grassy field just west of Macomb. Schneider was joined by politicians, labor leaders, city and county workers, and others.