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  Project Overview
  A transportation engineering study was conducted between 1993 and 2005 covering a corridor of approximately 47 miles from Freeport to Galena in Stephenson and JoDaviess Counties. The study, known as Glacier Shadow Pass, included the evaluation of ten freeway alignments and two expressway alignments including improvements to existing US Route 20 on its current alignment. The goal was to identify a transportation solution to properly address existing and projected system deficiencies and improve the safety and efficiency of the existing roadway system.

The study was concluded on September 22, 2005 with the signing of the Record of Decision by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). This decision concludes that the Selected Alterative (Longhollow Freeway with South Simmons Mound variation) best satisfies the purpose and need, causes the least environmental impacts, and complies with the National Environment Policy Act (NEPA). The FHWA’s decision is based on full consideration of information contained in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), public input received at various public information meetings held throughout the course of the study, and public hearings held on June 25, 2003 in Freeport and June 26, 2003 in Galena. The decision was also based on public and agency comments pertaining to the proposed action; the other alternatives considered; the respective environmental consequences and measures taken to achieve avoidance and minimization of impacts.

The FHWA‘s decision allowed the Selected Alternative to be advanced through detailed design and construction. In order to facilitate the design engineering and construction, the proposed route from Freeport to Galena was split into several sections. Although construction funding has not yet been secured for any of these sections, the Galena Bypass segment has received partial funding for Phase II design engineering and for purchasing limited right-of-way.

The proposed Galena Bypass begins northwest of Galena near the existing intersection of Illinois Route 84 and US 20. From IL 84, the proposed alignment heads east, then turns southward around Galena, spanning over the Galena River and Stagecoach Trail. The eastern terminus of the approximately 6.5 mile bypass is located near Horseshoe Mound, southeast of Galena.

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