MARION -- Illinois Route 13 in Marion will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday between Court and Fair streets as the Union Pacific Railroad will be replacing the chronically rough crossing on East DeYoung.
Mayor Mike Absher warned of the road closure on Monday night at the end of the regular City Council meeting, and he urged motorists to seek alternate routes.
"This is going to be a mess," Absher said. "We're going to do everything we can to mitigate that."
He said the street department and Marion Police Department would be working to direct motorists to detours and keep traffic flowing. Absher said traffic would be routed from DeYoung along Russell and Fair streets to Main Street.
Signs warning of the road closure were put up on Monday night.
The city had been working with the Union Pacific on replacing the crossing for several years, but scheduling time for the work has been a challenge.
The crossing "desperately needs to be fixed. The timbers the rails are sitting on are rotted through," Absher noted. "It's got to be addressed. And to put it off any longer would put us into the school year, which would be 10 times worse, so we're biting the bullet."
Commissioner Doug Patton said the time for the crossing work was overdue.
"If this opportunity presents itself, we've got to jump at it to make it right."