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NWH headline - huh?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

NWH headline - huh?

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
September 28, 2009

On Page 9A of this morning's Northwest Herald was this headline: "Route 47 detour closed at Harvard, Marengo." Does anyone have a clue as to its meaning?

There must be many frustrated drivers of cars, motorcycles and small trucks who follow the signs for the Route 23 detour. It's Route 23 that is closed between Harvard and Marengo, as the article explains. Why in the world these light vehicles are directed east on U.S. 14 to Woodstock, south on Route 47, and back west on Route 176, I have no idea!

Light vehicles could proceed on Route 23 and take a short detour just around the bridge that is being replaced. Obviously, heavy trucks and tractor-trailer units would have to stay on the current detour to avoid damaging bridges on the local roads and congestion on the narrow roads around the Route 23 construction area.

But the "Route 47 detour"? What's that?

Why would IDOT schedule paving work on Route 47 at the same time that Route 23 is closed (for months) for the bridge replacement? Why didn't IDOT let that wait until next year? And why can't the Route 23 bridge be replaced in a much shorter period than the months it is taking? Is it some company's retirement plan for its employees? I mean, you go by there and only a few people are working.

It seems to me that project engineers could get everything lined up and then crews just swing in and do the work. And clear out.

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