Gateway ConnectorRoads of the Mid-South & West > Highways of the State of Illinois > Gateway Connector
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on February 23rd, 2003 that the Illinois Department of Transportation is moving to step two on building a belt-way around the Metro-East. This phase will be a one-year corridor study on engineering and environmental impacts. If the studies go well, and proper funding is recieved, the road could be built in five to ten years.
The Tuesday May 6, 2003 St. Louis Post-Dispatch noted that the Metro-East outer beltway is not included in the five-year road plan for the state of Illinois. The name for the roadway is the "Gateway Connector". The state of Illinois has provided $2.3 million to protect land near the propesed highway and study the construction challenges. If congress provides federal money within its six-year plan to build part of the highway, Gov. Blagojevich said the state would match the sum.
The July 16th, 2004 Belleville News-Democrat reported that a grass roots organization has formed to stop IDOT from creating this corridor. The group is called "Stop 158". This group has gathers about 1,000 people in the area. IDOT spokesman Candace Saureman told the group that they have four proposed paths. Construction is not expected for 10 to 20 year, but the corridor is needed for future growth in the Metro-East.
IDOT officials say the project is not dead. Just there is no funding for the project at the present time. Projects place the highway at a minimum of 20 years before it would be open to travelers. (28 June 2009 "IDOT says Gateway Connector project not dead despite lack of funding" Belleville News Democrat; Belleville, Illinois)
Starting Point Interstate 255 at Columbia, east to Illinois State Route 158.
Widen Illinois State Route 158 and run northeast to Belleville, then north to O'Fallon and Scott Air Force Base.
From Scott AFB the route would head north to the junction of Interstate 55/70 and U.S. Rt. 40, near Troy.