Edwardsville and Glen Carbon overlook the Mississippi River basin, about 18 miles from downtown St. Louis. They are the two largest cities in Madison County and have a combined population of nearly 30,000. Surrounding communities include Granite City, Highland, Maryville, Pontoon Beach, Collinsville, and Troy.
Edwardsville and Glen Carbon have an exceptional network of interstates and highways. Travelers have easy access to and from Interstates 70, 64, 55, 270 and 255.
In early 1999, Illinois Gov. George Ryan initiated a road development and expansion plan for Southwestern Illinois.
This project will continue development and expansion of I-255. Recently, I-255 was expanded to meet Highway 143, which runs through the heart of Edwardsville and then merges into Highway 157, which veers southwest to Glen Carbon. Highways 143 and 157 will also be widened as part of the plan.
A new interchange at Route 3 in neighboring St. Claire County will provide additional access to a proposed bridge over the Mississippi River that will connect Southwestern Illinois to the St. Louis metropolitan region. Several companies have already positioned themselves near the junction of I-255, Highway 111 and I-270 to take advantage of the upcoming improvements.
In 1883, the Toledo, Cincinnati and St. Louis railroad line built a large station that welcomed thousands to Edwardsville. Today, two major railroads service the area - The Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern. Today, the award-winning Madison County Transit (MCT) provides public transportation to the area. Lambert International Airport in nearby St. Louis accommodates air travelers; rail passengers use Amtrak while barges hauling heavy freight use major ports on the Mississippi River.
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