"Illinois Hard Roads Plan", The Daily News Almanac and Yearbook, 1920

p. 141 - 142.

facsimile / transcription of Almanac entry

Illinois Hard Roads Plan

The act providing for a statewide system of durable hard roads in Illinois was passed by the legislature and approved by Gov. Lowden June 22, 1917. At the November election in 1918 it was approved by the electors of the state by a majority of 212,405 votes. The act provided for a bond issue of $80,000,000 for paying the cost of the system of roads, the work to be under the supervision of the state department of works and buildings. In order to test the validity of the act a friendly suit was filed in the Circuit court of Sangamon county by John M. Mitchell. Judge E. S. Smith upheld the act and an appeal was taken to the State Supreme court which on April 15, 1919, handed down an opinion that the bond issue was valid.

The General location of the routes of the proposed roads is described in the act. There is to be forty-six of them, the terminals and intervening towns being as follows:

1. Chicago to Metropolis through Chicago Heights, Watseka, Danville, Paris, Marshall, Robinson, Lawrenceville, Mount Carmel, Albion Grayville, Carmi, Harrisburg and Vienna.

2. Beliot, Wis. To Cairo, Ill., through Rockford, Oregon, Dixon, Mendota, Peru, La Salle, El Paso, Bloomington, Clinton, Decatur, Pana, Vandalia, Centralia, Duquoin, Carbondale and Anna.

3. Morrison to Chester through Prophetstown, Moline, Rock Island, Aledo, Monmouth, Macomb, Rushville, Beardstown, Virginia, Ashland, Alexander, Jacsdonville, White Hall, Carrollton, Jerseyville, Alton, East St. Louis.

4. Chicago to East St. Louis through Berwyn, Riverside, Lyons, Joliet, Dwight, Pontiac, Bloomington, Lincoln, Elkhart, Williamsville, Springfield, Carlinville, Edwardsville, and Granite City.

5. Chicago to East Dubuque through Elgin, Marengo, Rockford, Freeport and Galena.

6. Chicago to Fulton through Wheaton, Geneva, Elburn, De Kalb, Rochelle, Dixon, Sterling and Morrison.

7. Joliet to East Moline through Morris, Ottawa, La Salle, Peru, De Pue, Princeton and Genesco.

8. Sheldon to Burlington, Ia., through Watseka, Chenoa, El Paso, Eureka, Peoria, Farmington, Elmwood, Yates City, Galesburg and Monmouth.

9. Hoopeston to Hamilton through Paxton, Blooming , Carlock, Goodfield, Deer Creek, Morton, Peoria, Canton, Prairie City, Bushnell, Macomb and Carthage.

10. Danville, to Jacksonville through Urbana, Champaign, Monticello, Bement, Decatur and Springfield.

11. Marshall to East St. Louis through Greenup, Effingham, Vandalia, Greenville, Baden Baden and Highland.

12. Lawrenceville to East St. Louis through Olney, Floa, Salem, Carlyle and Lebanon.

13, Shawneetown to East St. Louis through Harrisburg, Marion, Carbondale, Murphysboro, Pickneyville, Sparta and Belleville.

14. Carmi to Duquoin through McLeansboro, Benton and Christopher.

15. Albion to Belleville through Fairfield, Mount Vernon, Ashley, Nashville and Okawville.

16. Paris to Staunton through Charleston, Matoon, Shelbyville, Pana, Hillsboro, Litchfield and Mount Olive.

17. Grant Park to Lacon through Momenee, Kankakee, Dwight, Streater, Eagle Church Corners, Garfield, Wenona, Custer and Lacon.

18. Chicago to Princeton through Aurora, Oswego, Yorkville, Plano, Sandwich, Barlville and Mendoth.

19. Chicago to Harvard through Barrington and Woodstock.

20. Waukegan to Woodstock through Grays Lake and McHenry.

21. Chicago and Wisconsin state line through Libertyville and Antioch.

22. Chicago Heights to Lake Forest through Joliet, Aurora, Geneva Elgin, Dundee, Carpentersville and Barrington.

23. Wisconsin state line to Streator through Harvard, Marengo, Sycamore, De Kalb and Ottawa.

24. Peoria to Pana through Pekin, Green Valley, Mason city, Greenview, Athens and Springfield.

25. Kankakee to Fairfield through Gilman, Paxton, Champaign, Tuscola, Mattoon, Effingham, Tolliver, Louisville and Flora.

26. Freeport to Dixon through Polo.

27. Polo to Savanna through Mount Carroll.

28. Galesburg to Sheffield through Kewanee.

29. Peoria to De Pue through Chillicothe and Henry

30. Peoria to Gaiva through Princeville and Wyoming.

31. Canton to Quincy through Lewiston, Rushville and Mount Sterling.

32. Windsor to Cerro Gordo through Sullivan, Lovington, Ulrick Station and Lake City.

33 Effingham to Robinson through Newton.

34. Harrisburg to Elizabethtown and Golconda.

35. Route 2 north of Cairo to Mound City.

36. Carthage to Jacksonville through Bowen, Ursa, Quincy, Payson, Barry, Pittsfield and Winchester.

37. Mount Vernon to Marion through Benton.

38. Jerseyville to Hardin and Kampsville.

39. Mount Vernon to Marion through Benton.

40. Sterling to Milledgeville, Chadwick, Mount Carroll and Stockton.

41. Galesburg to Abingdon, Avon and Prairie City.

42. Chicago to Wisconsin state line through Waukegan and Zion city.

43. Havana to Mason city.

44. Joliet to Kankakee through Manhattan and Wilton Center.

45. Garfield to Dana.

46. Arlington Heights to Oak Lawn through Mount Prospect, Des Plaines, Franklin Park, River Grove, Maywood, Broadview, La Grange Park, Lyons and Summit.

Contracts were let by the state department of public works for the improvement of 650 miles of road at an average price of $27,000 per mile. The cost of the sections awarded averaged about 40 percent of the sections awarded averaged about 40 percent higher than it would have been before the war. The roads to be modernized were the old Cumberland or National Trail, in the southern part of the state, running from the state line near Terre Haute to St. Louis; the Dixie highway, near the eastern line of the state from Chicago Heights to Danville; the Chicago Joliet, Ottawa, La Salle; Peoria, Springfield, Carlinville, Edwardsville, and East St. Louis; The Lincoln highway, from Chicago to Fulton; the Wisconsin road from Niles to the Wisconsin line north of Zion City.