Drivers concerned about crumbling road condition


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Drivers are getting irritated by the pavement condition on a stretch of Route 47.

The potholes keep getting patched up and worn down, with no permanent solution in sight. Donna Cathey, a semi truck driver, noticed a major difference in the road right when crossing between Champaign and Ford counties. On the Champaign side, the road is noticeably smoother. On the Ford County side cracks, ruts, and potholes cover both north and southbound lanes.

IDOT says they had a crew out there to fill the ruts in the road on Wednesday. But they couldn’t say if they planned to resurface that Ford county stretch of Route 47 anytime soon, or when it was done last. Meanwhile, drivers feel let down and tired of putting up with it.

Cathey says, “If you hit just the right pothole on this road, it’ll pull the steering wheel out of your hand.” She says it feels dangerous. “It’s a minefield. It’s an obstacle course. You don’t know if you should go left or right to miss the next big hole where you drop off in it. It just gets noticeably worse. I have put on a new set of tires and had the front end aligned and tire rod ends, both inner and outer.”

On Wednesday, IDOT engineers couldn’t explain the reason why there’s such a clear cut contrast between the condition of the two sides of the road.
They’ve done many temporary patch ups here and there, but cathey says it’s not good enough. She says, “Every crack, every crevasse, every time they put tar or gravel down, it pops up out of there and it feels like you’re driving on what I consider a wash board.”

She’s even asked IDOT and local government representatives about the problem but says they’ve never given her a straight answer for when the road will be repaved.

Route 47 is well traveled by many drivers daily. Cathey views the condition as a safety risk and “It’s a dangerous highway and something needs to be done before someone gets hurt.”

On Thursday, IDOT will start repaving Route 47 from the Champaign County line south to Highway 136. The construction will not extend into the Ford County side.

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