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Spotlight on Southwestern Illinois: Architecture and Engineering

Horner & Shifrin, Illinois Route 15/158/13 interchanges, Belleville

By KATE GENO
Horner-Shifrin-south-roundaboutA five-legged roundabout, the southernmost of two roundabouts being completed at the interchanges involving Illinois Routes 15, 158 and 13 in Belleville.    The Illinois Department of Transportation selected Horner & Shifrin to prepare plans for the reconstruction of Illinois Route 158/Centreville Avenue at the Illinois Route 15 interchange in Belleville.
    IDOT had been eyeing a solution to ease the congested intersections for some time. In the late 1990s, IDOT staff researched the option of utilizing roundabouts to replace the signalized intersections.
    “Roundabouts are becoming much more accepted by the public. At this particular location, roundabouts are the perfect solution to relieving congestion and improving safety,” said Brian Schmidt, transportation and civil project manager at Horner & Shifrin.
    Many roundabouts are being constructed in this region as people are becoming more familiar with driving them. They are a great tool for traffic engineers, according to Schmidt. Roundabouts require less maintenance, operate more efficiently, ease congestion, slow car speeds, and have been known to reduce the number and severity of accidents.
    Horner & Shifrin was chosen to prepare the plans, specifications and estimates for reconstructing the Illinois Route 158 ramp terminals at Illinois Route 15 into two roundabouts. The eastbound Illinois Route 15 ramps will be reconstructed into the southern five-legged roundabout, while Illinois Route 13 and the westbound Illinois Route 15 ramps will be reconstructed into the northern six-legged roundabout.
    The northern roundabout will also provide a direct connection to Illinois Route 13 and eliminate two closely spaced signalized intersections.
    Horner & Shifrin designed the storm sewers for both roundabouts, including a drainage structure that is integral with the southern roundabout.
    Due to the high volume of residential and business traffic that utilizes the route, the intersections need to remain open during construction. It was Horner & Shifrin’s responsibility to come up with ideas to maintain the traffic flow while the roundabouts are constructed. The company implemented a complex staged construction and closed one leg of the roundabout at a time to shift traffic access. They also designed a detour around the north roundabout to allow for continual construction.
    Construction on the $5 million project, managed by Hanks Excavating and Landscaping, is two-thirds complete. The target completion is set for November 2014.