Saturday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony opened the Fairchild Street overpass between Jackson Street and Bowman Avenue, removing a detour that had aggravated local drivers for more than a year.
The new overpass became necessary when the Fairchild subway, which the street under several sets of railroad tracks for almost 100 years, began to show signs of potential collapse. Today’s safety and engineering standards required the subway be replaced with the massive overpass.
Now motorists will be able to once again drive from one side of Danville to the other without encountering a wait for a train.
The overpass is just the first of major road work to come to an end this year.
The extensive widening project on East Main Street near Danville Area Community College and the VA’s Illiana Health Care System campus also should finish soon. That project is part of a multi-year effort to widen Main Street from Gilbert Street all the way through the city to Oregon Street.
With these projects out of the way, it would be nice for local drivers if they did not have to dodge major work at least for a while. City officials have spent considerable time, effort and money on the significant road projects. The concentration on the big projects has come at a bit of a cost to the condition of auxiliary streets in several neighborhoods. A year or two focusing on maintenance might be a good idea.
But fear not, those of you who like the adventure of seeking alternate routes to avoid road work. State crews begin Monday to update the bridge on Main Street/U.S. Route 150 just west of Gilbert, and Tilton officials hope to begin a major project of their own soon to reconfigure the Georgetown Road/Illinois Route 1 interchanges with Interstate 74.
Drive safely, everyone.