Madison County Engineer Adam Walden talks with a community member about the project.GODFREY - The Madison County Highway Department invites community members to share their thoughts on a proposed construction project on Humbert Road that will reduce the number of traffic lanes, create a designated turn lane and add sidewalks.

County Engineer Adam Walden explained that the project aims to reduce the number of accidents on Humbert Road. There have been 180 accidents in the past five years, including one fatality. By creating a turn lane and reducing the number of lanes, the Highway Department hopes to “calm traffic.”

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“We’re trying to serve the public, serve the citizens and ultimately deliver a safe roadway for citizens,” Walden said. “Primarily, people are afraid that traffic’s just not going to work. But that’s why we hired some experts. That’s why we brought CBB on to collect the data, do the modeling and tell us, does it work? And, preliminarily, we think it will.”

The County decided to pursue this project because Humbert Road needed to be repaved. Before fixing the road, the Highway Department looked at crash reports and other data to see if a more intensive project might be needed, and, upon discovering how many accidents happen on Humbert Road every year, they proposed this project. They also hired CBB Transportation Solutions to complete a traffic study on the Humbert Road improvements.

The project will alter the four-mile stretch of Humbert Road south of the interstate and north of Homer Adams Parkway. The Highway Department decided not to widen the road because there are several houses along Humbert Road, and Walden said it would take too long to secure right-of-way easements. Instead, they will alter Humbert Road in the space that already exists.

“Safe flow is really what we’re looking for and also to meet the needs of all the users along the corridor, because we have people that are commuting to and from their homes to work, trying to go make shopping trips, things like that. We also have a large school at basically the center of the corridor,” added Lee Cannon, a traffic engineer with CBB Transportation Solutions. “We’ve gotten some really excellent feedback from the public about their concerns. We’ve also gotten some excellent feedback from the public regarding specific issues…We will look at those concerns and see how any proposed changes to the road can best serve the traveling public.”

For example, Cannon said they have learned from public feedback that the Alton High School cross-country team often runs along Humbert Road to practice. They hope the sidewalks will serve pedestrians while keeping students safer, including those who walk to school.

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Walden noted that speeding is one of the major concerns they have heard from community members. He hopes reducing the lanes will minimize speeding concerns.

“We were finding mainly the people who are upset with this are the people who don’t want to slow down, and they may actually be contributing to part of the problem. So they’re afraid they’re not going to be able to drive 60 in a 45,” he explained.

If you would like to offer feedback, the Madison County Highway Department has a survey where you can voice concerns or suggestions about the proposed project. The survey closes on Friday, Feb. 2, 2024. You can also find more information about the project on the official Madison County Highway Department website or Facebook page.

“Calm traffic is good for everybody,” Walden added. “We had to work within what we had, and we honestly feel like this gives us the best of every world.”

A rendering of how Humbert Road will look if the project is completed.

Community members have been invited to submit feedback about their concerns.

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