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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

U.S. 20 / Freeport to Galena

A regional planning program, whether undertaken because of a proposed highway, a need for jobs locally or for recreation and/or preservation needs, can have implications beyond just any single purpose. A large, regional land use planning process touches all aspects of life and livelihood in an area. Carried out properly, it characterizes and accommodates all regional needs. It can fashion a future with a purpose.

To further encourage all the varied interests that will be part of the highway planning project to focus on its regionwide economic, social and environmental implications, IDOT has developed a theme for the corridor. It is one that draws on the unique and beautiful natural surroundings in Stephenson and Jo Daviess Counties.

From the land and its physical qualities grow the lifestyles and livelihoods of the people dwelling there. From it also grows a sense that a community’s or region’s destiny lies in nurturing the land and protecting its offerings. Ancient peoples who lived very close to the land were no more bound to it’s care than we are today. As always, tomorrow depends on wise choices today.

The theme Glacier Shadow Pass captures the past, how the land came to be, and what it may mean for the future of local residents in all of its prismatic facets—agricultural, economic, environmental, recreational and in the relationships that knit these pieces of the human fabric together. It is a departure point setting future agendas that link us to the past.

With the numerous studies and care that will be taken to perform a complete investigation, it will be a number of years before a four-lane freeway could be completely finished in northwest Illinois. During the period of planning and assessment the State of Illinois will continue to make improvements to US Route20 to make it as safe as possible for travelers.

In the meantime the theme, Glacier Shadow Pass, will help individuals to refocus again and again on the value of the land and its people. It will outlast the construction of a highway and provide an impetus for shared visions, goals and decision-making for years to come.

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