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Central Illinois Townships Seek Help For Road Repairs

The roadways are something that we often take for granted, but residents of some Central Illinois townships are worried that theirs need to be repaired—and soon—but there's no money coming to help.
The roadways are something that we often take for granted, but residents of some Central Illinois townships are worried that theirs need to be repaired—and soon—but there's no money coming to help.

Joe Schaefer has driven his car down Stringtown Road many times.

"There’s no room to drive," said Schaefer, Little Mackinaw's village clerk.

About 950 cars use the road each day, but Schaefer says the road hasn't had any major repairs since it was built in the 1970s

"There are spots where there are actually holes in the shoulder. If you hit it, it's going to pull you right in and further down there's a drainage ditch that would be really nasty," said Schaefer.

Patchwork fixes could be about $80,000 per mile on the 9.7 mile road.

"That’s just a band-aid, three years or so, we we'll have to do the whole thing over again," said Schaefer.

A more thorough job could cost about $300,000 for each mile.

Nearly 200 people packed out the Minier Fire station on Monday night, many frustrated by the lack of movement on the road that's limiting theirs.

"With ag equipment, it does not have the springs and shock absorbers, that is magnified considerably," said Richard Brenneman, a farmer.

Bill Brady and Rich Brauer fielded questions from the concerned crowd looking for solutions. With no money from the county, the state could be their only ally. Brady says he understands the frustration.

"There’s a lot of money that's paid in to the state coffers from people who pay gas taxes and travel on these roads," said State Sen. Bill Brady. "So, there's a justifiable argument that some of these resources should be used to maintain these roads in a safe manner."

The lawmakers say they'll bring these concerns to Springfield, with hopes to implement one of the plans soon. Schaefer hopes that isn't too late.

"We’ve had a few minor fender benders on the bridge, but so far nobody's lost a life and we'd like to keep it that way," said Schaefer.

Brady says the project will be much easier to move forward if the townships can work together to find other ways to save money.

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