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Galena Bypass

Special Update - June 2014

The Illinois Department of Transportation is initiating a funding and financing study for the US 20 corridor. The study is expected to be completed in October of 2014.

Project Status

This Phase 1 engineering 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 FHWA‘s decision allowed the Selected Alternative to be advanced through detailed design and construction. The Galena Bypass segment of the proposed freeway was the first segment to receive funding for design engineering. The first stage of this detailed design involved the preparation earthwork plans for the Galena Bypass. These plans were completed in May of 2013. Additional funding is necessary in order to continue the design work including preparing the roadway and structure plans for the various bridges located along the proposed bypass. Additional information pertaining to the Galena Bypass project is available at the link provided below.

Galena Bypass Website

Draft Environmental Impact Statement

Final Environmental Impact Statement

Record of Decision 20 Rod.pdf

Project Description

The entire project stretches approximately 47 miles from just west of Freeport to the hills north of Galena and can be broken down into three sections (Freeport to Stockton, Stockton to Galena and the Galena Bypass). The proposed four-lane freeway fills the last major gap of two-lane highway left on US Route 20 between Rockford, Illinois to Waterloo, Iowa, transitioning from the gentle rolling terrain of Stephenson County to constant undulating hills of JoDaviess County. As the proposed freeway blends effortlessly into the countryside, it showcases the many towns, farmsteads, and tourist attractions. Containing numerous bridges, many of which span over 1500 feet, the preferred Longhollow alignment melds gently with the environmentally sensitive area. The new freeway will provide a more operationally effective way to travel this section for both passenger car and the commercial truck without a severe impact on its intended route.

The current study is scheduled for design approval in 2004. Phase II (Contract Plans and Land Acquisition) is scheduled to start shortly after. Beginning in 2004 and possibly extending to 2010, the section called the Galena Bypass will lead the way as the only portion that has funding for final design and purchase of right-of-way. Construction could follow as soon as 2007 provided funding becomes available.

A typical rock cut area along existing U.S. 20

Preferred Alternative Route

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