Route 13 Expansion Moves to Carterville

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By Sam Jones
By Benjy Jeffords

WILLIAMSON COUNTY—  Businesses are bracing for traffic changes as construction begins on another stretch of Route 13.

They want to make sure customers don't forget them during this project. Rainy weather's wreaked havoc on road construction this spring. One of the projects that's been delayed is the widening of Route 13 in western Williamson County.

Thanks to clear skies, work got underway Wednesday night east of Greenbriar Rd. in the Carterville area. Signs have been posted along Route 13 warning drivers of traffic changes to come. The roadwork is set to take place from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. each night.

It's off to a slow start, but a Carterville staple's ready for the changes.

“We're here to stay were not leaving our elderly people alone,” explained longtime Country Cupboard manager Dorothy Karavites.

She says the highway project has inspired the business to look at improvements inside.

“We had a lot of people ask us already, and we told ‘em we are here. My bosses are already starting to think about redoing things in the restaurant, but like I said, he's waiting to see what the roads are gonna do for us,” Karavites said.

Her major reservation is what will come of the parking lot when construction equipment takes over the frontage road.

“The parking could be around the back, so were adjusting to them,” she added.

IDOT says the first phase of the project will last four to six weeks, while crews focus on the median. The, they'll shift to adding lanes off the shoulder.

The impact on drivers during the day should be minimal. They'll just have to follow slight changes to driving patterns.

“It's probably help me later, like six to seven months,” said Isidro Morales.

Morales, the owner of Mis Cuates in Carterville, is grateful for the timing of the project, but worries about attracting sales as the work progresses.

“Probably put my signs more close to the road, but only if the city says it's okay. Because sometimes you need to pay money for the city to use signs close to the road,” he said.

Crews have started on the westbound lanes of 13. Drivers should be alert for changing driving patterns in the coming weeks.

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