The Ill-Annoys Department of Transportation (IDOT) has been working on extending the four-lane part of Ill. Rte. 2 north from Rockford to south of Latham Road since back in February. Rte 2 has been a two-lane road with clearly marked passing zones for decades. When the construction is finished, this original section of Rte. 2 will be a frontage road.
About a month ago, they put up two of those electronic bulletin boards with the messages "TWO-WAY TRAFFIC" and "PASS WHEN ALLOWED", one at either end of the existing two-lane portion paralleling the new road.
About two weeks ago, they doubled down with big orange warning signs showing up and down arrows, indicating two-way traffic - something usually reserved for four-lane roads narrowed down during construction.
Last week, big rectangular orange signs with the legend "TWO WAY TRAFFIC NEXT X miles" went up - one telling us the next three miles of the two-mile zone is two-way, and the other about two miles south on the northbound lanes telling us that the zone is two miles long. At least they got that distance right.
Rte. 2 in this area is not all that heavily traveled, but I can see that the solons in charge are "thinking ahead" - they put in a beautiful chunk of four-lane interstate quality road from the south side of South Beloit for about four miles - a typical federally-funded pork project "road to nowhere". So, ultimately, they will end up taking a few dozen homes and farms by eminent domain to make the four-lane continuous from Rockford to South Beloit, enabling heavy development of a nice open agricultural area that developers would never look at without the road improvements. For Sale signs are up on several farms in the area already.
What I don't understand is how Ill-Annoys is affording all this road improvement when the state is supposedly bankrupt. Federal "stimulus" money stolen from our great-grand kids, I suppose. There are numerous bridges on Rte. 251 between Machesney Park and South Beloit getting rebuilt - these are bridges that were in reasonable shape, not the ones we hear about in dire need of fixing, and the intersection with Rte. 173 has been under construction for over a year now. Rte. 251 is the major route between Beloit and Rockford.
I have long suspected that when they named IDOT, they forgot the second 'I'.