The Clinton County Board approved a resolution to add rumble strips to County Highway 16 (Huey Road) at the stop intersection with Illinois Route 161.
At their Monday meeting in Carlyle, County Engineer Dan Behrens said the state maintains the stop signs on Illinois Route 161. The county maintains the "Stop Sign Ahead" signs.
The addition of the rumble strips is a step toward getting drivers to stop running through the intersection and causing accidents.
Behrens said what would be used in this situation is similar to what's used in the state of Iowa, where the strips are cut into the pavement.
He said you can't really build them up because the elevated strips cause a problem for snowplows in the winter.
The strips are a series of two: the first set are 200 feet in front of the "Stop Ahead" sign and the second set are about three-quarters of the distance between the "Stop Ahead" sign and the actual stop sign.
County Board Chairman Larry Johnson recalled asking, and asked again if there's anywhere else in the county that might need similar treatments, "before we have another bad accident or fatality," but didn't need an answer right away.
Behrens said he would look into that. He'd also be cautious about using them in cities — he only recommends their use in rural areas — because they are loud.
Case in point, Behrens said he thought a motorist had driven through the intersection at Shattuc Road and Illinois Route 161 this past weekend or recently.
Paving project awarded
The Illinois Department of Transportation has awarded the Germantown Road resurfacing project to Christ Bros. Asphalt of Lebanon.
That would be a standard overlay of 3.45 miles of the road, .03 miles south of the CSX Railroad tracks in Breese to Henry Street in Germantown, at a cost of $1,250,000.
The project falls under IDOT's pavement rehabilitation and is in IDOT's FY2022 Rebuild Illinois Highway Improvement Program.
Following a pre-construction meeting, the company would like to start that project the first or second week of October, Behrens said. There are 25 working days on that project.
County Board member Deb Wesselmann asked if the county would be widening that road.
Behrens said there will be an additional three feet of shoulder to the outside.
Wesselmann asked if the Rebuild Illinois program had more money for six feet of shoulders.
Behrens said the problem with that is they are stuck with utilities, right of ways, and having to move ditches over. They are pinched even with adding the three feet of shoulder.
Behrens said his department has found another bad spot on the Prairie Creek bridge north of Hoffman, on Huey Road.
A reinforcing plate has been placed over that spot, though the bridge itself is okay, there are just bad spots on the deck.
Behrens said the bridge is monitored and inspected closely and there are plans to replace it in 2024 using Rebuild Illinois funds.
Property owner Jim Jansen of Albers is concerned about problems with a closed ditch, water flowing onto his cropland and asked the County Board how they plan to rectify it. He said his property lays an average of a foot to two feet lower in the right of way.
Water that comes off the road, that builds up in the ditch, will cut straight through his property.
Jansen said the ditch was there to carry the water away, and now there's no ditch.
Behrens agreed to meet with Jansen this past Tuesday at Jansen's property. That came at the encouragement of Johnson.
Johnson asked Jansen to call him if he did not get a satisfactory resolution and they would take other steps to see that happen.
Behrens said when the ditch was constructed, as a standard ditch, that meant it was set a certain distance below the road everywhere.
Behrens said the water in the field at the Jansen property drains — with the exception of about 10 feet — to the west and away from the road.
Behrens said there is a ditch profile figured out through there.
For some reason it doesn't move water, so the county will have to regrade it.
Behrens said he can't imagine why it won't drain water; there is very little water in the ditch to begin with.
Jansen said there's a berm "about that high," motioning about a foot high with his hands.
With Jansen asking for a resolution, Behrens said the county isn't done with the ditch reworking.
Jansen wanted a guarantee, before the winter, that there will be no excess water in the ditch.
Behrens told Jansen there would be no excess water in the ditch but could not guarantee that.
It was mentioned there was a foot-and-a-half drop from the road to the ditch; Behrens said it would get cut.
Asked if there would be culverts in there, Behrens said eventually there would.
Jansen said there was "a little bit of rain the other day" that left the first three rows of crops sitting in water.
County Board member Keith Nordike asked how the project was being paid for and how did it come about.
Behrens said it has been on the highway department's "radar to do this for a long time."
Behrens said one of the issues they have across the county is a lack of shoulders and steep side slopes.
"One of the reasons we did the project south of Aviston was to get rid of that" problem, for the safety of the public.
He was talking about a shoulder-widening project in that area of the county with the highest reported incidences of accidents, on Aviston Road.
"One of the things we always preach is you keep vehicles on the road and in their lanes. When they leave the road, you keep the departure as safe as possible," Behrens said.
The county is hemmed in by utilities and expense of right of ways, and other factors.
Where the county has the chance to, when it can get by, "We'll do what we can to alleviate that as much as possible," he said.
One of the possibilities is, when you have a summit — that they overcut the ditches when they built it — is to go ahead and fill them in.
Nordike asked Behrens if there were drawings on the project, and Behrens said there are, which he would make available to Nordike.