WASHINGTON — About 100 area residents got their first look Thursday at proposed improvements to the dangerous U.S. Route 24 and Nofsinger Road intersection.
City officials and representatives from TERRA Engineering in Peoria answered questions and gathered input for two hours in a meeting room at Five Points Washington as a steady stream of open house attendees viewed drawings of the estimated $3 million to $4 million project.
“I’d say people were more curious than concerned about the project,” said City Administrator Jim Culotta.
The city is working with the Illinois Department of Transportation to make the intersection safer for drivers and pedestrians and smooth the way for economic development in the 223 acres of vacant land the city owns in the area.
IDOT statistics show there were 35 crashes causing 32 injuries in the intersection between 2010 and 2014, ranking it in the top 5 percent in the state in number and severity of accidents in intersections where an expressway intersects with an un-signalized local street.
Realigning the intersection to 90 degrees (a right angle) and adding traffic lights and a marked crossing with pedestrian signals are IDOT’s recommendations.
The existing intersection is skewed 25 degrees to the north and 12 degrees to the south and the north and south legs of Nofsinger, divided by Route 24, are offset 18 feet from each other.
There are stop signs on Nofsinger, but no accommodations for pedestrians.
Average daily traffic counts in the area are 10,800 vehicles on Route 24, 3,400 vehicles on the north leg of Nofsinger and 2,950 vehicles on the south leg of Nofsinger. Substantial residential development northwest of the intersection with access to Nofsinger over the past 10 years has nearly doubled the traffic count on Nofsinger’s north leg.
The major fix is to move the intersection east and create a new Nofsinger.
The north leg of the new Nofsinger will head northwest from Route 24 and join the existing Nofsinger just north of Willow Drive. The south leg of the new Nofsinger will head southeast and connect with Cruger Road at Dallas Road, where the intersection will be converted from a “T” to four ways.
Willow will terminate in a cul-de-sac and stop signs will be placed at the intersection of Santa Fe Road and Nofsinger, the nearest access point north of Willow to the residential area.
Another cul-de-sac will be constructed on the existing Nofsinger south of Route 24.
A new intersection at Route 24 and Wellington Road, east of the new Route 24 and Nofsinger intersection, is planned because of expected increased traffic caused by development of the city’s 223 acres.
State and city right-of-way and the city’s 223 acres will be used for the project. The city is seeking federal and state funding to cover 50 to 80 percent of construction costs, and has funds budgeted for its share. The construction schedule is dependent on funding, according to city officials.
Another public meeting will be held after IDOT approval of construction plans. IDOT will oversee the project because Route 24 is a federal road maintained by IDOT.
Steve Stein can be reached at 686-3114 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his Stein Time blog on pjstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.