CLARK COUNTY, Ill. (WTWO/ WAWV) — Construction and accidents on I-70 and Route 40 near Clark County have caused many motorists to seek alternative routes, including Arbuckle Road.
“They had the knowledge to know that this would be the number one detour route when they closed 40 down over the hill. And they did nothing to prevent or did nothing to help maintain this road throughout the closure,” Jay Cutright, who lives on Arbuckle Rd. said.
“We’ve always had a pretty good road here, and now we’ve got a mess. I think we were fortunate somebody didn’t die out here, honestly,” he added.
That mess, Dallas Richardson, Clark County Engineer said is caused by increased traffic that detours through the area.
“The traffic on Arbuckle Road went from about 150 cars a day, before all of this to almost 1500 cars a day during the project. So, over that four-month period, you can say that’s 20,000 cars before to 200,000 cars after,” Richardson said.
Richardson said all that traffic caused the edges and shoulders of the road to fall apart.
“There’s several sections that have 3 and 4 foot of shoulder that’s gone, of edge of pavement that’s gone. There are several places that have 3- and 4-inch drop-offs now.”
Sheriff Bill Brown agrees.
“This road’s been destroyed. As a byproduct of the unofficial detour…thousands of cars traversed this road over a five-month period that would never be out here,” Brown said.
“There were times that it was almost bumper-to-bumper traffic on Arbuckle Rd,” Robinson said
The early August County leaders began meeting with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Senator Chapin Rose in regard to the damaged roadway.
“In early August we started talking to IDOT about doing some repairs on this road,” Richardson said. “We’re still waiting on some kind of response on that. We’ve urged IDOT that the construction season is coming to an end for 2023, so the quicker we can make that decision the better because we’d like to get our traveling public a safer road to ride on.”
“I don’t think that it should be on the responsibility of the township and or the county to have to foot the entire bill to fix this road. And it has to be fixed,” Brown said.
While officials are grateful for IDOT’s completed projects in the area, they are calling on their help to repair Arbuckle Road. Senator Rose said while he doesn’t have a timeline at this point, he said he has started discussions with IDOT.
“The local folks really shouldn’t be living with the consequences of that failure to plan,” Senator Rose said.
He went on to say that he will continue taking the issue to IDOT until something gets done.