By TESA GLASS
MT. VERNON —
The city will be asking the Illinois Department of Transportation for a new traffic control device at the corner of Veterans Memorial Drive and South 42nd Street.
According to City Manager Ron Neibert, when the intersection was first opened after the construction of the new overpass/interchange with Interstates 57/64, IDOT determined there wasn’t enough traffic to merit a traffic light.
“It will be a joint project with the city and IDOT,” Neibert explained. “They have strict guidelines for amount of traffic and signals. ... We’ve just been waiting for the right time to notify them we have the traffic to support their guidelines for the light.”
City Engineer Brad Ruble will be contacting the state agency this week to start the process. Neibert said once IDOT is contacted, a study will be undertaken by the state agency to do its own traffic count.
Mt. Vernon Mayor Mary Jane Chesley told those at the Good Samaritan Regional Health Center dedication and those at the city council meeting on Monday the increase in traffic from the new hospital would merit the new traffic control device.
“I know now on the east/west route we are seeing 7,500 vehicles per day,” Neibert said. “Obviously, part of the study by IDOT will be to do the traffic counts and include different levels of traffic coming from different directions. ... The study will determine the type of signaling we will have at that intersection.”