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Galena Bypass

Special Update:

This 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 allows the Selected Alternative to be advanced through detailed design and construction. The Galena Bypass segment of the proposed freeway is the first segment to receive funding for design engineering. Information of this project is available at or you may click on 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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