Author Topic: New Corridor Connecting St Louis to Louisville??  (Read 14148 times)

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Offline GSullivan

New Corridor Connecting St Louis to Louisville??
« on: April 20, 2009, 06:28:39 pm »
The following email correspondence came through last week. As you can see I think this would be a fantastic route (and addition to the corridor plan)!

My name is Kevin Schilt. I am a member of the Village  of West Salem Board of Trustees
in West Salem, Illinois. We are located  in Edwards County in Southeastern Illinois.

I am currently working  with the District 7 Office of the Illinois Department of Transportation in  Effingham (IDOT) to establish a Bike Route on Illinois 161 and also on  Ext.161. This route would stretch from New Baden, llinois in the Metro  East St. Louis area and finally reach the eastern part of Illinois in the  St. Francisville, Illinois (Allendale, Illinois). If we was to name this  route I believe G & W Route (Gateway to Wabash) would be a possibility  since this would go from the St. Louis area (Gateway
arch) to the  Wabash River area. Anyway it's to early to name it.

This road would  be favorable because the majority of the traffic travels Interstate 64 in  the Western portion of this area. The eastern part is rural in nature and  there is hardly any traffic from Centralia to the east. There is a state  park located on this corridor along with some other local  attractions.

I have accessed the ACA "A Bicycle Travel Friendly  Town" in hopes we can use this as a model for this Route. I want to ask  this question, Is starting a Route like this in vain or a waste of time??  One reason to consider a route is that we have seen an upswing in  bicyclists in the past couple of years.

----
Here is my response:

Hi Kevin,

 I reviewed the route you are proposing with the IL DOT and I think it sounds fantastic.

I work on a project called the U.S. Bicycle Route System (www.adventurecycling.org/usbrs) and I would like to add this route as a corridor to our Corridor Plan map with continuation of the route from Mt. Carmel on 64 to Louisville . I am attaching one of our older version of the Corridor Plan map (you can find the most recent version on our website – right tool bar under pdfs - but it doesn’t list the names of the cities so it is much more difficult to identify locations). Notice that we don’t had a corridor identified linking St. Louis to Louisville . This could be a really great U.S. Bicycle Route and if you are already working on it in IL, it will really help.
 
With your permission, I would like to contact both the DOT bike/ped coordinators from IN and IL and get them in on this proposed route and see if they would be interested in designating it as a U.S. bicycle route in the future.

To answer your question regarding whether your work is a waste of time…absolutely not! You’re work will help both cyclists and motor vehicles. And it will bring low-impact tourism to the small communities along the route. If we can make it a US bike route, it will help hundreds of traveling cyclists find their way between two important cities. Nice work!

Have you been working with any of the advocacy or biking groups from the state or your area? If so, please let me know.

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Stay tuned for more on this topic!
 
« Last Edit: April 20, 2009, 06:35:21 pm by GSullivan »
Ginny Sullivan

Offline GSullivan

Re: New Corridor through Connecting St Louis to Louisville
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2009, 06:33:13 pm »
And this came via email recently:
Ginny Sullivan

Offline GSullivan

Re: New Corridor Connecting St Louis to Louisville??
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2009, 06:41:37 pm »
It's always good to get the local perspective on bike routes - here's a perfect example of why we don't sit in offices and figure out where to ride but put people on the ground with local knowledge. thanks again Kevin!

Ginny,

I have a question on the route proceeding on 64 from Mt. Carmel.  Do you mean Indiana 64 or Interstate 64?  I believe if the route goes across the bridge to Indiana 64 you may have a problem.

The road is very, very dangerous.  It is a very heavily congested route between Princeton & Mt. Carmel, Illinois with coal trucks.

There is an alternative.   Coming out of West Salem, continue east through Lancaster.  You have 2 choices.  Bringing the route to Indiana  crossing at St. Francisville at the Wabash Cannonball Bridge then bring the route down south.  Believe me it will be a lot safer.  More scenic also.

 

1.  Go about 5 miles east of lancaster to the Bridgeport Road. (E 1200 Rd) and turn left toward Bridgeport.  The road is marked well and it is a good blacktop road (very good, low traffic).  Go about 3 miles north in Southern Lawrence County to the first stop sign and turn right (east) on N 150 st.  toward St.  Francisville.

You will come to Illinois 1 and cross the hiway to go into St. Francisville toward the Cannonball Bridge.  This is rural area.

 

2.  Second option is to go all the way through from West Salem to Allendale to Illinois Route 1, turn left (north) and go about 6 miles up Illinois 1 to St. Francisville and cross at the Cannonball Bridge.  Not bad, maybe medium traffic for Hiway. 

 

Thank You again for your time.

 

Kevin Schilt

Ginny Sullivan

Offline schaser1

Re: New Corridor Connecting St Louis to Louisville??
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2009, 09:05:22 pm »
Another option for the St. Louis to Louisville Route could be to go south from Mt. Carmel on Illinois 1 to Crossville, Illinois .  At Crossville, take Illinois 14 to Historic New Harmony, Indiana, then head east toward Evansville and Louisville.  This would allow a crossing into Indiana.  This a toll bridge but leads into a very scenic and historical area.
Illinois 14 is not traveled because most of the traffic stays on Interstate 64.  Again this might be another option.

Offline schaser1

Re: New Corridor Connecting St Louis to Louisville??
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2009, 09:51:14 pm »
If your a bicyclist and plan to come through West Salem, Illinois on this route  on Sat. June 27, 2009 there will be a Freedom Celebration. Also there will be a Yard Sale Day, Parade and one of the biggest Fireworks in Southeastern Illinois.  NO JOKE Between 5,000 and 7,500 show up in this town of 1,100 for it.  If at least 10 bicyclists plan to travel through West Salem on this day please let me know  between 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. I might make some Ice Cream, just before the parade.  But I need to know by June 15.  Also if you have a tent and would like to stay I can see what we can do about finding a place for you  to pitch a tent.  If you would like more info on the Ice Cream e-mail at schaser1@yahoo.com.  For more information on the Freedom celebration go to www.ectimesadvocate.com and click on Freedom Celebration.  I would like to show you how our community knows how to welcome traveling Bicyclists.

Offline schaser1

Re: New Corridor Connecting St Louis to Louisville??
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2009, 11:02:35 pm »
For those that are interested in a unique local history, you may want to visit the only Moravian Church in Illinois established in the 1850's, locted in West Salem, Illinois.  The cemetery is also unique.  It has a German and English section and also the smallest tomstone in the world according to Robert Ripley.  The minister, Terry Weavil welcomes touring bicyclists and will give them tours and a history lesson of the Moravians.  Check out www.westsalemmoravian.org for more information.

Offline schaser1

Re: New Corridor Connecting St Louis to Louisville??
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2009, 07:00:56 pm »
I found out today (June 12) that I work with a person that is a traveling bicyclist.  He found out about the the route proposed from St. Louis to Louisville, Ky.  He also shared comments that he feels that taking the route across the Wabash River at Mt. Carmel, IL is not a bad idea, like I thought.  He believes that people who bicycle alot should be OK.  It is a good surprise to hear from someone I work with and anyone else that they are interested and support a Bicycle Route like this.  Always welcome suggestions.

Offline Indianacharlie

Re: New Corridor Connecting St Louis to Louisville??
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2009, 12:23:16 pm »
Just happened to stumble on to this thread and would like to see how I can help. I'm familiar with the St Francisville crossing into Indiana plus numerous scenic routes in Indiana. The St Francisville crossing connects to a route from Evansville to Ft Wayne and from there many connecting routes in the state. I've been working on an East West route in Southern IN on remote roads instead of highways. The mileage does increase however it picks up the small towns along the Ohio River. Here in Indiana we're trying to get the word out that there are great scenic roads in our state.

Charlie Myer
Author of Back Roads of Indiana
Scenic routes in Indiana and Kentucky:  http://backroadsofindiana.blogspot.com/

Offline schaser1

Re: New Corridor Connecting St Louis to Louisville??
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2009, 09:16:59 pm »
Would like very much to get in contact with you, Charlie!!  Working hard to try to get something stablished and it seems I'm going nowhere.  Would very much welcome your help and support!!

Kevin Schilt
schaser1@yahoo.com

Offline Indianacharlie

Re: New Corridor Connecting St Louis to Louisville??
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2009, 07:32:03 am »
Kevin
Was wondering how your project is going.
I did add another route in Indiana from Rockville to Corydon. Additionally A route was completed from Ft Wayne on up tp Toledo. So now routing from Louisville then along the Wabash then Maumee Rivers to Toledo is complete.
Again, any help I can provide just give me a shout.
Charlie Myer
Back Roads of Indiana
Scenic routes in Indiana and Kentucky:  http://backroadsofindiana.blogspot.com/

Offline schaser1

Re: New Corridor Connecting St Louis to Louisville??
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2009, 08:29:50 pm »
This is a e-mail from Ben Bowman, traveled through the area in late October.  He gave a critque of the route.  I found this vey favorable.  Please read:




Kevin,

Sorry for the delay! I've been meaning to write you, but kept getting distracted.

As it turned out, my plan was a little ambitious, especially for the hilly first day in Indiana. I ended up taking four days, along this route.

I thought 161 was great for cycling. I found it a little hillier than expected, but much better than Indiana, and with much less traffic than 50.

I know there had been some question about how safe it would be to take the state highway 64 bridge into Mt. Carmel, and I agree that for beginner cyclists this would probably be a bad route to take. I didn't have any trouble with it though (around rush hour, even), and I think that anyone doing a bike tour would be experienced enough to feel comfortable crossing at this point.

You asked about what could be done to make cycling in/through this part of Illinois more attractive for cyclists. I would recommend putting together a map that could be used by local and through cyclists. A number of counties in southern Indiana produced "The Bike Route", which I found enormously helpful when plotting my route.

Although I didn't end up camping there, Sam Dale lake seems like a convenient place for cyclists to stop. It would be encouraging if there were one or two other published, convenient places for cyclists to pitch a tent. Oftentimes, cyclists don't need very much at all - just a place to sleep. If any town/city parks or church yards would be open to letting cyclists do this, it would be helpful to identify them on the map.

Another way of making the area more inviting to cyclists would be to encourage local cyclists & others to join Warm Showers, a cyclist hospitality website.

Finally, to really make things encouraging, you could partner with folks in Missouri, Indiana, and Kentucky to publish a suggested route all the way from St. Louis to Louisville and/or Cincinnati. Maybe it could even go further west to the Katy Trail and/or Kansas City! A trail of this length would definitely get people's attention.

Hope that helps! I'd love to hear if anything comes of it.

peace,
ben

Offline omayer

Re: New Corridor Connecting St Louis to Louisville??
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2013, 01:06:42 pm »
Note this is an old thread...

I took approximately this route about a month ago. The way across IL along 161 plus extension is nice. Though I ran into some dogs along the county roads in eastern Il. There is a primitive only camp ground in Mt. Carmel, Beall Woods, that was beautiful and would recommend. Crossing into Indiana on IN-64 was very easy, even in rush hour. There is a 10 ft. shoulder on both sides of the bridge. The ride along Indiana 64 was very stressful due to HEAVY truck traffic and little to no shoulder, particularly between Princeton and Huntingburg. If you decide to ride this reflective gear is a must. Another forum suggests taking state highway 65 to 68/62... no idea if this is any better but might be worth a shot.



Offline NE2

Re: New Corridor Connecting St Louis to Louisville??
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2013, 10:01:58 am »
Another option for the St. Louis to Louisville Route could be to go south from Mt. Carmel on Illinois 1 to Crossville, Illinois .  At Crossville, take Illinois 14 to Historic New Harmony, Indiana, then head east toward Evansville and Louisville.  This would allow a crossing into Indiana.  This a toll bridge but leads into a very scenic and historical area.
Illinois 14 is not traveled because most of the traffic stays on Interstate 64.  Again this might be another option.
This bridge has since been closed to all traffic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Harmony_Toll_Bridge
Nearest alternates are:
*Wabash Memorial Bridge to the south - which is electronic toll collection only, and it's not clear how cyclists are supposed to pay: http://www.in.gov/indot/2708.htm
*I-64 to the north - no bikes
*Mt. Carmel - new bridge opened 2011 with wide shoulders, as omayer describes above
There's also a weird one-lane wooden toll bridge at St. Francisville. Might be fun but not a way to route unsuspecting cyclists: http://www.spokesrider.com/2010/10/24/wabash-cannonball-bridge/