Winnebago County: IL 2 (Byron to Beltline Road)


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IL Route 2 Study (Byron to Beltline Road)

IDOT_IL2_CSS_Branding_Logo_v1.jpgThis website was created to facilitate public input and provide updates about the Illinois Route 2 (Byron to Beltline Road) Phase I Study, process, and schedule. We invite you to explore the website and provide your comments and recommendations regarding the study by filling out the Question/Comment Submittal Form.

Project Background

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) initiated the Phase 1 study along IL Route 2 in the Spring of 2014. The study is examining transportation needs and solutions for the corridor through an extensive public involvement process. The study area is located in Ogle and Winnebago County, starting at the intersection of IL Route 2 and IL 72 (E) in Byron and extending approximately 10.5 miles to Beltline Road south of Rockford, Illinois.

Problem Statement

IL 2 is a valued environmental corridor with an inadequate roadway and insufficient clear zone which contributes to crashes and does not allow for the development of recreational facilities or provide access to the scenic features of the corridor.

Purpose and Need

Growing population and increased travel demand over the last several decades within the region has resulted in crashes and inconsistent travel times.  The purpose of the IL 2 (Byron to Rockford) improvement is to provide a safer transportation corridor for all users along IL 2.  The improvement will address the existing geometric deficiencies and roadside hazards and facilitate the enhancement of adjacent recreational facilities while protecting the environment and scenic values.

What’s New?

The last meeting of the Community Advisory Group (CAG) was in February of 2015. The project slowed during the last 5 years due to the lack of available funding for the project. The passage of the Rebuild Illinois Capitol Program in 2019 has secured funding to complete the Phase I Study of this section of Illinois Route 2. Therefore, we are re-engaging the CAG. The next CAG meeting is anticipated in the spring of 2021 with a public meeting to follow.

Phase 1 Schedule

Upcoming Meetings and Open Houses

The CAG is expected to reconvene in the spring of 2021. A public meeting will follow early 2022. This section will be updated with public meeting details.

Project History

Between June 2014 and February 2015, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) worked with the CAG) to identify the project’s Purpose and Need, review the existing roadway deficiencies, review the natural resources along the project corridor and collaborate to identify conceptual alternatives.  The alternatives being evaluated further can be found on the Resources page (CAG #5& 6 Alternative 1 Display and CAG #5& 6 Alternative 2 Display). 

Since the last CAG meeting in February 2015, IDOT met with local agencies to determine multi-use path limits, coordinating with railroads regarding the ability to reconstruct the structures, and coordinating with property owners about access changes. 

As of January 2019, IDOT continued work to collect environmental resource data and fine tune the geometry based on the resource findings and local agency coordination.  The corridor is environmentally rich with eagles, migrating pelicans, wooded areas, effigy mounds, wetlands and floodplain, to name a few resources. 

Public Meeting Open House Held May 7, 2014

IDOT hosted the first phase 1 Public Information Open House for IL Route 2 from IL 72 in Byron, IL to Beltline Rd. south of Rockford, IL. The meeting was held on May 7, 2014 at St Mary Catholic Church located at 226 E. Second St. in Byron, IL. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce the project and discuss the concerns from IDOT and the public. IDOT provided information regarding:

  • Study area characteristics
  • Study schedule
  • Process
  • Public involvement opportunities.

Attendees had the opportunity to review exhibits, provide comments, and meet with IDOT representatives on a one-on-one basis.

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.


Project History

IL Route 2 located between Byron, IL and Rockford, IL follows along the Rock River. It is a scenic 10.5 mile stretch of roadway that winds along the Rock River.

The current roadway was originally constructed approximately 1925 as 18’ wide concrete pavement. In 1955 the pavement was widened to 22’ width using P.C.C. Base course Widening. The pavement was widened again in 1984 to 25’ width. Over the years, many Hot Mix Asphalt resurfacing projects have been placed over the original concrete pavement.

Blue Star Memorial Highway


On November 4, 1970, Illinois Route 2 was designated a Blue Star Memorial Highway. This historical marker can be found in a picnic area along IL 2 in Ogle County just west of Meridian Road (Winnebago County Line). Below is a reference from the National Garden Clubs official website. For more information on Blue Star Memorial Highways please visit

Honoring Those Who Have Served Our Country

The Blue Star Memorial Program honors service men and women. This program began with the planting of 8,000 Dogwood trees by the New Jersey Council of Garden Clubs in 1944 as a living memorial to veterans of World War II. In 1945, the National Council of State Garden Clubs adopted the program and began a Blue Star Highway system, which covers thousands of miles across the Continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii. A large metal Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker was placed at appropriate locations along the way. The program was expanded to include all men and women who had served, were serving or would serve in the armed services of the United States. Memorial Markers and By-Way markers were added to the Highway Markers, to be used at locations such as National cemeteries, parks, veteran's facilities and gardens.

The Blue Star became an icon in World War II and was seen on flags and banners in homes for sons and daughters away at war, as well as in churches and businesses. This program has been active all through the years to the present, a fitting tribute always and especially now.

IL Route 2 located between Byron, IL and Rockford, IL follows along the Rock River. It is a scenic 10.5 mile stretch of roadway that winds along the Rock River.

Blackhawk Trail


On May 24, 1996 resolved by the Senate of the Eighty-Ninth General assembly of the State of Illinois, the House of Representatives concurring Herein, that a section of Illinois Route 2 extending from the City of Dixon to the City of Rockford be named the Black Hawk Trail. This Route is considered by many to be historical in the fact that the Rock River and Indian foot trails near the river were important for the Sauk Indian tribes and many European immigrants arriving to this area.



As the Illinois Route 2 Phase I Study progresses, we will regularly update this website to ensure you are kept informed of our progress. The study team is interested in hearing your ideas and opinions! If you have questions or comments about the study please fill out the Question/Comment Submittal Form, or write us at:

Region Two Engineer
Attn: Studies and Plans
Illinois Department of Transportation
819 Depot Avenue
Dixon, IL 61021

Study Documents

Throughout the duration of the Illinois 2 Byron to Rockford study, project documents will be posted to the website. These documents may include: draft and final reports, study area maps, presentations, and communication pieces such as, FAQ’s, glossary of terms, and project photos and graphics.

Press Releases

Press releases will be posted to this site as they become available.


Newsletters will be printed over the course of the study. These publications will feature the latest project news and will be used as a means of communicating information about the project.

IDOT is currently at the early stages of Phase I for this project. 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.

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