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I-55 ramp work expected this summer in Plainfield

Construction on a ramp improvement project at Interstate 55 and U.S. Route 30 in Plainfield will begin this summer.

At a village committee of the whole meeting this week, Marc Grigas, of Strand Associates, Inc., of Joliet, told trustees that bidding for the state project will begin in February. Grigas said the project will include widening two ramps, traffic signal improvements and new street lighting, among other things.

Strand Associates is providing design services for the project.

"We are anticipating construction on the project this summer," said Allen Persons, director of public works for the village. "It will have a positive benefit (for motorists)" since the ramps are now often backed up with cars.

Darcie Gabrisko of Strand Associates, which also has been asked by the village to study the proposed Lockport Street by-pass to alleviate traffic downtown, showed three possible routes. The bypass calls for rerouting motorists off Illinois Route 126 and onto Lockport Road. The project would also provide an alternative route for vehicles on Illinois Route 59, but that option likely involves cutting through parkland and other private property, she said..

"We are going to have to touch base with the park district and property owners in the area," Gabrisko said. Strand officials said they are still generating cost estimates for the project and told the board that some of the proposed routes will involve constructing costly bridges.

Documents for the project show that two of the proposed routes involve crossing the Lily Cache creek, prompting an environmental study.

The study indicates that 29,000 to 34,000 cars per day will use the bypass in 2040. There are 16,000 cars per day that currently come off Interstate 55 onto Illinois Route 126.

"The primary reason (for the bypass) is for trucks," said Trustee Bill Lamb. "We now have trucks that come off of Route 59 and go right through the heart of town. I also envision that cars would be a significant factor, too. It will provide much better access (for vehicles)."
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