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Car crash on Macomb bypass raises safety concerns

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A recent car crash on Highway 336 has city and state leaders pushing to make the Macomb bypass safer.

Two people were hurt in the crash, according to the Illinois State Police crash report.

ISP said the driver thought the two lane road was a four lane.
City and state officials said the lane changes on the bypass are confusing and something needs to be done to avoid a tragedy.

"I think it was a matter of when it was going to happen, not if it was going to happen," Illinois 93rd District Rep. Norine Hammond said.

City and state leaders said the confusing lane changes on the Macomb bypass, or Highway 336, are raising safety concerns.

"Obviously some of those concerns were realized here this past week on a beautiful, warm and sunny day, given the season we're in, a crash occurs that appears on the surface to have been some confusion on one of the drivers, as to it still being a four-lane road," Macomb Mayor Mike Inman said.

According to Illinois State Police, the driver was traveling northbound on 336 on a two-lane section of the bypass.

ISP said the driver crossed the center line, resulting in a head-on collision resulting in injuries.

State leaders said it should have never been constructed like this in the first place.

"When we go back to several years ago when there was not enough money to complete a four-lane bypass, they went over to a two-lane, I was very nervous and not supportive," Hammond said.

The road goes from four lanes, to two lanes, back to four lanes.

It's a safety concern officials said they'd like to partner with IDOT to fix.

"At the end of the day, we understand the folks at IDOT planned for this all along to be a four-lane road, it's just a matter of finding the funds to do it," Inman said. "We're anxious to remind folks of where our priorities are."

While the grating is in place to add two more lanes, there's other infrastructure, like necessary bridges, that is not, which is why state leaders say they're taking action.

"Advocating with IDOT and the governor's office would certainly be appropriate at this point in time, so we can avoid more of these accidents and what could result in tragedy," Hammond said.

Inman said it would cost around $30 to $40 million to add two more lanes.
He said he hopes they can continue to partner with IDOT on issues like this, to ensure all drivers are safe.

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat is a MultiMedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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