The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has initiated a Phase I preliminary engineering study to evaluate alternatives for improvements to I-39/US 20/US 51 from the I-39/US 20 Interchange to the Harrison Avenue Interchange. The study includes alternatives for:
The purpose of this site is to communicate important project-related information and encourage public interaction during the planned public involvement meetings. We look forward to your participation and feedback.
Note: IDOT projects typically have three distinct phases. Phase I (or the project Study) consists of developing the project scope, environmental studies and preliminary design of a project. Phase II (Design) consists of refining the design to develop contract plans and land acquisition. Phase III (Construction) consists of the actual construction of the project.
The I-39/U.S. 20 improvement project consists of:
The total project length on I-39 is approximately 3 miles.
The project is located in Winnebago County, southeast of Rockford, IL with portions of the project within the limits of the Village of Cherry Valley, IL. The project is about 12 miles south of the Illinois/Wisconsin state line and lies in the northeast portion of Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), District 2. The U.S. 20 interchange is approximately at I-39 milepost 119; Harrison Avenue is at milepost 122; and I-90 is at Milepost 123.
The west project limit of the U.S. 20 improvement project is the west ramp terminals of the I-39 and U.S. 20 interchange. The south limit of the I-39 improvement is the south ramp terminals of the I-39 and U.S. 20 interchange. The north project limit is the south ramp terminal of the I-39 and I-90 interchange. The improvement limits along Harrison Avenue are from South Mall Drive on the west to the Kishwaukee River Bridges on the east.
The purpose of the U.S. 20 project is to improve:
The project will also improve lane balance and simplify traffic maintenance during future construction projects by providing two lanes in each direction on I-39 through the I-39 and U.S. 20 interchange. I-39 through traffic is restricted to one lane in each direction at the I-39/U.S.20 interchange. I-39 through traffic also goes through standard exit and entrance ramp terminals. Both of these items are contrary to current design policy.
The need for the U.S. 20 improvement project is described below.
U.S. 20 is a marked federal highway and is part of the national highway system.
Most of U.S. 20 and I-39 in this project area was constructed in the early 1960s and is now part of the federal interstate and national highway system. I-39 is a four-lane divided highway with 24-foot wide pavement in each direction separated by a 40-foot grass median. The inside shoulders are paved an additional 4 feet, and the outside shoulders are paved an additional 10-feet. Drainage is provided in roadside ditches. The existing pavement consists of 10-inch thick concrete with a 3-inch asphalt overlay.
The I-39 and U.S. 20 interchange was constructed in the 1980's and is a three-legged, non-standard design. Through traffic on I-39 goes through exit ramps and is reduced to one lane in each direction.
The I-39 and U.S. 20/Harrison Avenue interchange is a standard cloverleaf design. The loop ramps at the interchange have very tight curves. Vehicles entering and exiting must cross each other in the very short distance between the exit ramp and the entrance ramp. This traffic conflict is called "weaving." Eliminating this weaving can significantly improve interchange safety and operations.
I-39 is a full access-controlled freeway, which means that motorists may only enter or exit at interchanges. U.S. 20 west of I-39 is also full access-controlled within the project limits. The first point of access on U.S. 20/Harrison Avenue to the west of I-39 is South Mall Drive, and to the east of I-39 is Mill Road. Each point of access is located approximately 2,000 feet from I-39. There is no access control on Harrison Avenue west of Perryville Road. East of Mill Road, U.S. 20 is a partial access-controlled expressway with median crossovers at approximately one-quarter mile intervals.
None of the other roadways in the project limits have access control except at the I-39 grade separations.
IDOT District 2 determined the projected construction year traffic (2015) and design year traffic (2035). These projections are shown in Table 1.
Table 1. Projected Traffic
Average Daily Traffic (ADT)
|I-39 South of U.S. 20||37,500||61,600|
|I-39 North of U.S. 20||47,200||77,700|
|Harrison Avenue West of I-39||29,100||47,950|
|Harrison Avenue East of I-39||34,200||57,100|
The I-39 mainline has surpassed its current traffic capacity, and motorists experience traffic congestion. The severity of this congestion warrants additional lanes.
A review of accident history was conducted for the study area of U.S. 20 and I-39 for the years 2002, 2003 and 2004.
A further breakdown by mile stationing reveals that there are some segments experiencing a significant number of accidents. Table 2 illustrates the number and percent of total accidents, for various types, that have occurred in the study area.
Table 2. Number and Percent of Total Accidents in
Study Area IL-39 Mile Station 117.19-122.51 during 2002-2004
|Collision Type||Overturn||Rear-End||Fixed Object||Animal||Sideswipe||Other||TOTALS|
|No. of Accidents||13||51||49||34||36||27||210|
|% of Total Accidents||6%||24%||23%||16%||17%||13%||100%|
Table 4 shows a summary of the total number of accidents that have occurred under various conditions. These totals are based on all roads in the given study area. In general, 127 accidents (60.5%) occurred on dry surface conditions, 147 accidents (70.0%) in clear weather conditions, and 144 accidents (68.5%) in daylight conditions. This data shows that the majority of the accidents took place during daylight hours when surface conditions were dry and the weather was clear
Table 4. Number of Accidents Occurring Under Various Conditions
in the Study Area during 2002-2004
|No. of Accidents|
|No. of Accidents|
|No. of Accidents|
Direction of Cars
|No. of Accidents|
Several aspects of the current U.S. 20 project area are deemed deficient by current policies and standards.
I-39/U.S. 20 Interchange
I-39 through traffic is restricted to one lane in each direction at the I-39/U.S. 20 Interchange. I-39 through traffic also goes through standard exit and entrance ramp terminals. Both of these aspects are contrary to the current policy.
The curve radii on I-39 through the interchange are 1161 feet and 1145 feet, and this is less than the 1,205-foot minimum allowed to remain in place for a 60 mph design speed.
A lower curve radii figure means that the curve is tighter, which will require motorists to reduce speeds throughout the curve. The required radii for a 60 mph curve is a more gradual curve than either of the current curve designs. The more gradual curve is a safer design and will also help traffic flow quickly through the curve.
I-39/Harrison Avenue Interchange
Loop ramps at the Harrison Avenue/I-39 Interchange have radii smaller than the required minimum. The northbound to westbound and southbound to eastbound ramps have a minimum radius of 185 feet. The minimum design speed of 30 mph requires a radius of 250 feet. The eastbound to northbound and westbound to southbound loop ramps have a radius at Harrison Avenue of 230 feet and a radius of 310 feet at I-39.
Vertical curve, which is the curve level when traveling over non-flat areas, is graded on sight distance. The vertical curve on eastbound U.S. 20 to southbound I-39 Station 55+90 has a poor sight distance for a design speed of 50 mph, and this sight distance is below the required sight distance level. By increasing the sight distance, these vertical curves will be safer for motorists.
This site will be updated periodically as the project progresses. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) wishes to thank you for your support and patience.
Our first public meeting was held at the Cherry Valley Village Hall on October 25, 2007. A total 72 persons attended the meeting. The meeting was held in an open house format with representatives from Illinois Department of Transportation and the consulting firm of Hanson Professional Services Inc. on hand to answer questions and review comments.
On display were aerial photos of the project area and maps showing existing traffic, projected traffic, and accident history. Alternatives for widening the interstate and for reconstructing the I-39 interchanges with U.S. 20 and with Harrison Avenue were also available for viewing and discussion. These displays are now available on the Resources tab.
A computer simulation model was used to show anticipated traffic congestion on the interstate both with and without the proposed improvements.
Comments from the public primarily focused on three issues:
The study team is currently in the initial planning stage of the project development process. At this time, there is no funding available beyond the current preliminary engineering stage for detailed design or construction of the project. Information pertaining to the noise study and right-of-way needs will be available at the next public meeting.
The attached announcement appeared in the Rockford Register Star on October 12th and 19th, 2007 and was sent to various individuals on our current Project Mailing List. To add your name to the project mailing list or if you have a question or comment regarding the project, please click here and fill out our comment submittal form.
The next public meeting is tentatively planned for Summer / Fall of 2016. The meeting will be announced on this website and via local newspaper when the date, time, and location are confirmed. Notices will also be sent to all those included on our project mailing list. To add your name to this list, please click the link located in the above paragraph to fill out and submit our Question/Comment Submittal Form.
IDOT will periodically update this website to assure that the motorists of Illinois are kept informed of project developments, public involvement opportunities, and construction related activities.
If you have questions about the project, please fill out the feedback form or contact us at:
Illinois Department of Transportation
Region 2 District 2
819 Depot Avenue
Dixon, IL 61021
Some of the following exhibits were on display at the Public Informational Open House held at the Cherry Valley Village Hall on October 25, 2007
(Due to the large file size, some of the images may take a few minutes to load)
I-39 / US 20 Interchange Alternatives Being Studied:
Harrison Avenue Interchange Alternatives Being Studied:
Harrison Preferred Alternative: Diverging Diamond Interchange (preliminary-subject to revision)
IDOT is currently at the early stages of Phase I for this project. As we make changes, this website will be updated accordingly.