YORKVILLE – For area motorists seeking to avoid the intersection of Routes 47 and 34 in Yorkville, Cannonball Trail is viewed as a convenient and scenic bypass.
But about a quarter of a mile west of Route 47, the two-lane road takes a sharp curve that has often resulted in vehicle accidents that highway engineers euphemistically describe as “roadway departures.”
“It’s an old farm road that’s been built up over time; certainly not to today’s design standards,” said Brad Sanderson of Sugar Grove-based Engineering Enterprises, Inc.
Sanderson, the city of Yorkville’s engineering consultant, outlined a solution for what locals call “the Cannonball Curve,” during a meeting of the Yorkville City Council Public Works Committee on Oct. 19.
The engineering fix would involve softening the curve while widening and better defining the shoulders and adding rumble strips.
Reconstruction of the curve also would introduce a slight incline to the pavement to prevent vehicles from veering off the roadway. This banking of the road surface helps increase friction, Sanderson said.
The cost of the project, including engineering, land acquisition and construction is estimated at about $500,000.
The plans are expected to be brought the full city council in the next couple of months, Sanderson said, and the work could conceivably be performed next year.
The posted speed limit on Cannonball Trail is 45 mph, although signs advise motorists to reduce their speed to 25 mph as they enter the curve.
For motorists traveling west from Route 47, the curve begins just in front of the New Life Church property. By the time a vehicle has negotiated the curve, it is headed in a more southerly direction toward Route 34.
Yorkville Public Works Director Eric Dhuse said some of the land along the roadway curve is included in the city, while some is a part of unincorporated Bristol Township.