Route 51 hearings need public input

Though we said it last week, it bears repeating once again that two important hearings regarding the future of U.S. Route 51 will be held this Thursday.

These hearings will allow area residents to hear information from Illinois Department of Transportation officials and then to share their opinions about the options available for the four-lane expansion of U.S. Route 51 in Fayette County.

The first will be from 1-4 p.m. in the multi-purpose room at the Kaskaskia College Vandalia Campus. The second will follow from 5:30-8 p.m. at Ramsey High School.

Though the actual construction is still years away, now is the time when decisions must be made about the routes to be taken by the expanded roadway. Will it continue to go through our communities, even though it will cut a wider swath? Or will it bypass the populated (and congested) areas to keep traffic moving more smoothly? That decision at least to some extent is up to us.

If, however, we choose not to participate in these hearings, others will make the decision for us.

We think the people of our two communities know best. And we think local priorities and local preferences should be paramount as decisions are made. The best way to ensure that they’re given top billing is to show up and participate.


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