Rich Egger's guest on Emphasis is Western Illinois University Geography Professor Emeritus Donald “Bill” Griffin. He is author of Voices of the Hennepin Canal: Promoters, Politicians, and the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Construction of the Hennepin lasted from 1892 to 1908. Griffin said concrete was used to build the navigation locks and dams, marking the first time this was done in the US.
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.