COLLINSVILLE, IL – Today was the first weekday for drivers navigating around the shutdown of a section of Interstate 255 in the Metro East. The closure for construction will take ten months.
Fox 2/NEWS 11’s Dan Gray reports how businesses and residents along one detour are reacting to a dramatic increase in traffic.
This was the first rush hour after the closing of a seven-mile stretch of I-255 from Collinsville Road to Illinois 15. IDOT recommends using alternate state highways, such as 3, 15, 157, 158, 159, and 161. IDOT predicts Illinois 157 will hit maximum capacity very quickly
“Dramatic change in the traffic you can see all these cars going by but it’s definitely the detours and all that you know it’s a lot for people to change their routes,” said Breeanna McKinney of McKinney Trucking Company.
Gas stations along Highway 157 are seeing an increase in business. A lot of drivers are stopping and asking for directions.
Weibo Patel, the owner of Caseyville Minimar said: “It means more increase in sales, more customers, more footprint I am excited about it.”
The Illinois Department of Transportation says it will be keeping a close eye on these alternate routes like Highway 157. They’ll have crews out here watching the traffic, they’ll have drones recording it and will make changes as necessary.
Patel said, “yeah I have seen new faces you know, a little increase, not a lot but we’ll see what happens because not a lot of people know there is a Subway here.”
There may be more money for restaurants and more traffic violations for drivers not familiar with the speed limit on 157.
“Late for work trying to get through a cut through and they don t know the way and they’re little bit behind so they’re speeding and cops are having fun with that,” said Frank Hunt, Caseyville resident.