US 20 Galena Bypass

A transportation engineering study was conducted between 1993 and 2005 covering a corridor of approximately 47 miles from Freeport to Galena in Stephenson and JoDaviess Counties. The study, known as Glacier Shadow Pass, included the evaluation of ten freeway alignments and two expressway alignments including improvements to existing US Route 20 on its current alignment. The goal was to identify a transportation solution to properly address existing and projected system deficiencies and improve the safety and efficiency of the existing roadway system.

The FHWA‘s decision allowed the Selected Alternative to be advanced through detailed design and construction. In order to facilitate the design engineering and construction, the proposed route from Freeport to Galena was split into several sections. Although construction funding has not yet been secured for any of these sections, the Galena Bypass segment has received partial funding for Phase II design engineering and for purchasing limited right-of-way.

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 scope of the Galena Bypass project includes the design of a fully access controlled, four-lane freeway for a distance of approximately 6.5 miles. Interchanges will be provided at IL 84, northwest of Galena, and at existing US 20, near Horseshoe Mound. The proposed alignment includes 8 new bridge structures and improvements along 6 crossing and adjacent roadways.

The Galena Bypass was the first segment of the proposed 47 mile Glacier Shadow Pass Freeway to receive funding for Phase II 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. Pending receipt of additional funding, roadway and structure plans for the various bridges located along the proposed bypass will be developed, thereby completing the design engineering work. Limited funds have been made available to purchase right-of-way required along the Galena Bypass corridor. However additional funding is needed to complete this land acquisition phase. Additional funding is also needed before construction of the proposed bypass could begin. As such, a construction timeline is not available at this time.

The proposed Galena Bypass begins northwest of Galena near the existing intersection of Illinois Route 84 and US 20. From IL 84, the proposed alignment heads east, then turns southward around Galena, spanning over the Galena River and Stagecoach Trail. The eastern terminus of the approximately 6.5 mile bypass is located near Horseshoe Mound, southeast of Galena.

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The 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 decision was also based on public and agency comments pertaining to the proposed action; the other alternatives considered; the respective environmental consequences and measures taken to achieve avoidance and minimization of impacts.

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.

The first Public Meeting was held on May 18, 2006 at the Galena Convention Center. Renderings, exhibits and the meeting summary can be viewed on the Resources page.

The second public meeting will be held when additional funding is made available to develop the roadway and bridge plans.

Phase II Citizens Advisory Group

The Department assisted in the formation of a Citizens Advisory Group to provide an opportunity for Local input, review, and coordination throughout the design process. 

Citizens Advisory Group Meeting Minutes can be viewed on the Resources page

Maps, drawings and other pertinent information are available at:

Illinois Department of Transportation
Region 2 / District 2 Office
819 Depot Avenue
Dixon, Illinois 61021
Phone: (815) 284-2271
Fax: (815) 284-1667

Further inquiries may be addressed to Paul Loete / Attn: Steve Robery at the above address or fax.

Primary Contact

  • Steve Robery IDOT – Project Coordinator (815) 284-5510

Additional Contacts:

  • Paul Loete IDOT – Region Two Engineer (815) 284-5301
  • Kevin Marchek IDOT – Program Development Engineer (815) 284-5307
  • Jon Estrem IDOT – Acting Land Acquisition Manager (815) 284-5366
  • Masood Ahmad IDOT – Studies and Plans Engineer (815) 284-5351

This project is currently not funded for construction, so a construction time line is not available at this time.

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