Illinois 13/Poplar Street work delayed until Wednesday

HARRISBURG - The anticipated start of the installation of a new stop light on the Illinois 13 intersection with Poplar Street did not begin Monday.

According to Harrisburg Mayor John McPeek, while the project was slated to start Monday morning, inclement weather caused the Illinois Department of Transportation to slightly delay the project.

It now will begin Wednesday morning, according to McPeek.

Electric signs posted at numerous locations around the intersection now show the updated message that April 4 is the rescheduled beginning of the project.

Motorists traveling through that area are advised to watch for workers and to expect delays as IDOT begins the task of installing stoplights at the intersection.

Since the intersection had opened to travel as part of the rerouting of Illinois 13 through Harrisburg, vehicle wrecks had been a concern for residents, law enforcement and emergency works. McPeek and former Harrisburg mayor Dale Fowler, now a state senator, had worked along with others to encourage IDOT to install a traffic control device at the intersection.

Several wrecks at the intersection have been fatal, and numerous nonfatal collisions have occurred there as well.

Almost one year ago, McPeek announced that IDOT had informed him that it planned to install traffic signals at the intersection.

During that time, the city has used a radar speed monitor to inform motorists of their speed approaching the intersection.

While the devices were not so-called "camera traps," which record speed and vehicle license plate information and electronically issue speeding citations, the hope was that the signs would make drivers more likely to pay attention to their speed when approaching the intersection and possibly make them pay greater attention to other vehicle movements at the location.