Beware the water on Route 16

Water continues to seep through and run down the merge lane of eastbound Route 16 in Shelbyville. IDOT reportedly will look into it. - John Curtis photo

For several weeks, water has been seeping through the merge lane of westbound Route 16 between the Kaskaskia River Bridge and the Shelby County Courthouse. Water is continually seeping up through the pavement and is running down the hill, down the middle of the lane. The road has become discolored over time and is constantly wet, even when the weather is dry.

The Daily Union called the local Illinois Department of Transportation office and was referred to the Effingham IDOT Office. Even though the water has been constant for several weeks, Chris Smith, the Bridge Maintenance Engineer in the Bureau of Operations, said he had no report of it. Smith said he would look into it.

IDOT started working on Route 16 on the center line repair on May 20, near the water leak, but no work was being done on the leak. The source of the constant water seepage is not known. Speculation is it could be a new spring under the road, a water break somewhere, or drainage issues with the spring rains.

IDOT will be working a 19-mile stretch of Route 16, from Shelbyville east to the Coles County line, for about three weeks, working on the center line, according to Tim Hemmen, Bureau of Program Development, Programming Engineer at the Effingham IDOT Office.

"There will be flaggers out on the roadway, ahead of the roadwork, controlling 1-lane traffic where they are working," Hemmen said. "They will be working their way east from Shelbyville."

Motorists are asked to slow down this Memorial Day Weekend, especially when road crews are working.

In Illinois, the "Hit A Worker Law" and penalties includes the following provisions: Imposes a fine for killing or injuring a highway worker of up to $10,000 and loss of their license for a year. It creates two new crimes: endangerment of a highway worker and aggravated endangerment of a highway worker.

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