DECATUR – The Macon County board could soon pave the way for road work to be done at the site of the proposed wind farm in the northern part of the county.
A road use agreement between the county and Twin Forks Wind Farm, the subsidiary of German-based power company E.ON who will oversee the plan, will come to the board during its Thursday night meeting. The road work would be done to prepare for the potential construction of 139 wind turbines and the subsequent maintenance.
Upgrades to the roads, which includes reinforcing them to handle heavy loads, widened lane corners and installation of cabling and facilities for the wind farm, must be done before work begins on the turbines, according to the agreement.
The cost for the work is to be determined, as bids have yet to be sent out for contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers.
The plan has already been unanimously approved by the county’s finance and transportation committee. Potential road work is expected to be done despite a standing lawsuit against the county by residents who live near the proposed wind farm location. Arguments are set to be heard in that case on June 22 at the Macon County Courthouse.
In other business, the board is expected to approve a memorandum of understanding among the Federal Highway Administration, Illinois Department of Transportation, Macon County and the Illinois State Historical Preservation Officer that would investigate sites of potential historical relevance.
The memorandum would allow additional archaeological surveys and test excavation on nine archaeological sites that represent historic Native American and Euro-American to determine whether the site would be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
If any sites are deemed eligible, the multiple agencies would then attempt to avoid and minimize potential impact. If impact cannot be avoided, then a data-recovery excavation will be conducted by IDOT.
No timeline has been given for the plan, which was previously approved by the Macon County Finance Committee, but highway officials have said it is one of the last steps before construction can begin.