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Plan unveiled to relocate part of Dee Bennett Road

Posted by wlpo on February 10, 2015

Dee Bennett Road between Utica and Ottawa is very scenic but it can also be very dangerous. The La Salle County Board is applying for a grant to relocate the road for safety and recreational reasons.

County Engineer Larry Kinzer has a plan to move a two-mile stretch of Dee Bennett Road to the north, eliminating curves and the danger of driving into cars parked along the river. The redesigned road would go from the Starved Rock Lock and Dam west to Route 178. The new stretch of road would be elevated to avoid flooding issues and the old stretch of Dee Bennett would be turned into a bike path. There would also be new parking lots.

The grant the county is applying for is for $700,000 and would cover the first phase of an engineering study. The county has to come up with at least 20 percent of the grant amount. They should find out about the grant by the end of the year.

Kinzer thinks the entire project could take seven years and cost around $11 million. He’s received several letters of support for the road relocation including from the village of Utica, Starved Rock State Park and the League of Illinois Bicyclists.

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