The Danville City Council approved in August a new casino operating partner and new concept art plans (seen above.) Danville Development LLC is working with a consultant on a traffic study to include with the casino license application.

DANVILLE — COVID-19 has impacted some of the daily traffic on area roadways with some employees not traveling to work as usual, but local officials still are trying to get a handle on how the proposed casino could affect traffic in the area of Lynch Road.

Danville Development LLC is working with a consultant on a traffic study to include with the casino license application.

Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. told aldermen last week the study is being finalized, prior to city officials’ review of the casino license application and prior to submitting the application to the Illinois Gaming Board. The IGB meets Thursday and also next month.

Lynch Road is city-owned, with it being transferred to the city from the state years ago, said City Engineer Sam Cole.

”We’re the permitting entity for that,” Cole said, regarding a potential new casino intersection and it being subject to the city’s review.

He said the casino developer’s consultant is looking at traffic counts, but hasn’t gotten into how big a new intersection could be and other details.

Cole said COVID-19 has meant traffic counts are down, so they’ve been working with the Illinois Department of Transportation on methods to best approximate normal scenarios and the casino’s impact.

He said IDOT has provided technical assistance and commentary.

Some traffic counts from last year are providing a “good basis” on adjacent roadways, but they have no counts for a proposed intersection yet, Cole said.

Some of the areas they are looking at include Main Street and Eastgate Drive, Main Street and Lynch Road, a proposed Lynch and Eastgate Drive intersection and Lynch Spur and Lynch Drive near the hotels.

“(We’re looking at) traffic impacts to those locations, beyond just the site itself,” Cole said.

Peak traffic in the Lynch Road area right now is 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.

The Lynch/Main intersection handles about 1,025 cars per hour at peak. Lynch Road/Lynch Drive to the south handles about 718 cars per hour during peak time.

The Eastgate/Main intersection can see about 548 cars per hour; and Eastgate and Eastgate court (next to the proposed casino site) in the culdesac, can see at peak 118 cars per hour, according to Cole.

Traffic on Lynch also has increased this year with the cannabis dispensary.

Traffic concerns with the casino were voiced by members of the Danville Area Planning and Zoning Commission and a nearby business.

Cole said they’ll continue to look at preliminary casino traffic generation numbers and how they will interact with existing traffic numbers.

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