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By Cynthia Haggitt
The New Delhi Bypass has recently opened and there has been a lot of calls coming into the Jersey County Highway department lately.
“Motorists have been calling into the office and there has been alot of confusion about the bypass opening,” stated Tom Klasner, Jersey County Engineer. “The completion of the Delhi Bypass has been a long standing discussion and project in Jersey County. I feel it is going to benefit the county and help slowdown traffic.”
Klasner mentioned although the bypass is expected to hit a couple of connection points to existing county roads in Jersey County, their department has nothing to do with this.
“ It is all handled by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).” Klasner said.
According to the webgroup from Jersey County Road Conditions web posting on Facebook, “There have been numerous complaints from motorists because the way road traffic is becoming more dangerous. People have been using both lanes instead of just the one lane for traffic. The sign going northbound at no point said ‘two-way traffic’ and I figured if it only said ‘use caution’ and ‘stay in your lane’ that it could or would be because of cones or workers present. I didn’t anticipate southbound lanes not being open yet! There is confusion and it might cause a head-on collision.”
Another post said, “she was driving down it going southbound and had a car coming towards me and my four kids head on! It appeared to me that they thought it was 4 lanes still right after it turned to 2 lanes and they were going into the left lane which was right at me. They ended up having to pull into the ditch. So scary. They need more signs or something.”
This bypass opening represents the next phase of the 255/67 extension project.
“As part of the ongoing U.S. 67 Delhi Bypass project, a traffic staging change on U.S. 67 from the existing four-lane road south of Delhi to Stagecoach Road in Jersey County is in place.
“The new configuration shifted northbound and southbound traffic to the two completed northbound lanes of the bypass. This new traffic pattern will continue for several months and it allows the contractor to connect the new pavement to the current pavement with minimal impact to the motoring public,” Dawn Johnson, IDOT’s Region 5 Communications Outreach Liaison said.
She said that IDOT has put out an alert in the area that drivers are urged to reduce speed, be alert for changing conditions, obey all construction signage, and refrain from using mobile devices while approaching and traveling through the area.This new traffic pattern will continue for several months, and it allows the contractor to make the connections of the southbound lanes to the existing sections of U.S. 67 with minimal impact to drivers.
“There is still a lot of work left to do before all four-lanes of the new road are opened. The Delhi project is expected to be complete in late 2022,” Johnson said.