Highway authorities say they are looking into crashes at two Roscoe intersections

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A Harlem-Roscoe Fire team confronts a collision at 251 and Bridge Street in Roscoe. IDOT does not list this intersection as a high crash location.

At Hwy 251 and Bridge Street, at least eight people have been taken to the hospital in less than six months, in three collisions (seven vehicles). We asked the Illinois Department of Transportation if that intersection was being made safer.

We received a reply from Michael J Kuehn, Studies and Plans Engineer/Geometrics Engineer for IDOT District 2, based out of Dixon. He said, "According to the latest 2020 statewide crash analysis, this intersection was not identified a high crash location," but added, "We are currently reviewing the crashes described in your emails as well as the crashes over the previous years for potential mitigation approaches."



After a recent accident at another Roscoe intersection, Love Road and McCurry Road, neighbors commented on how dangerous this intersection has been over the years. They have suggested adding a four-way stop, a flashing light, cutting down trees that obscure the intersection - or even adding rumble strips. 

Since maintaining the intersection of Love Road and McCurry Road is a Winnebago County responsibility, we asked Carlos Molina, Winnebago County Engineer, if the County had plans to make that intersection safer. 

Molina replied, "We will conduct an engineering study and determine what actions should be taken. We will look at the accident history and determine the reasons for the accidents."

Some residents are skeptical while others are hopeful. They say they have seen more Winnebago County Sheriff deputies this week, monitoring speeds with radar.  Previous Roscoe Township authorities have been told the intersection doesn't have enough traffic to warrant a four-way stop. One neighbor said, "The Ledges Association had addressed this issue over and over again. We were told more deaths had to occur before lowering speed limit."

One of the challenges in reporting a road problem is determining who is responsible for that particular road. Putting pressure on the wrong department might not bear any fruit. Some streets are managed by the Village of Roscoe, some by Roscoe Township, and some by Winnebago County. With a smile, Roscoe Township Highway Commissioner Steve Schreier says it's sometimes hard for residents to understand why a snowplow might clear only half of a street - if the rest of the street is in a different jurisdiction.

For example, in March 2022, a resident of The Ledges reported that the I-90/39 overpass on Rockton Road, which had been repaired in 2021, was already starting to cave in several spots. Winnebago County told us the Illinois Tollway Authority should fix it. The Illinois Tollway Authority told us that Winnebago County should fix it. Both parties scheduled a conference call with State Representative Joe Sosnowski to discuss responsibility, but even that call was postponed.

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Bridge St is not perfectly perpendicular to 251. If you’re going west on Bridge St. and turning left onto 251, you can’t see past the line of cars going east and waiting to turn left. You have to get way out into the intersection to see the oncoming traffic. I’ve seen people take chances and personally witnessed one accident because of it.

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