Letter: CenterPoint traffic on Route 53 poses dangerous problems

6/12/2014, 8:37 a.m.
The Jackson Township supervisor says he supports the village of Elwood's efforts to reduce traffic on that road for the ...
Overhead view of one portion of the 6,500-acre CenterPoint Intermodal facility, which is located in both Joliet and Elwood. Will County Center for Economic Development

Dear Editor;

I am writing in response to your article in the June 10 addition of The Times Weekly.

Jackson Township and I support the efforts of the village of Elwood to reduce truck traffic on Route 53. Many Jackson Township-Elwood residents travel to Joliet daily for work, school and shopping. Route 53 lacks the improvements for public safety. Most of our local cross roads lack turn lanes for the safe access off and on Route 53. Route 53 is the only direct route our residents have to Joliet. When the CenterPoint Intermodal was developed, our other route to Joliet, Brandon Road was closed.

One of the most hazardous intersections is the entrance to the Dollar Tree Warehouse, where many times trucks wishing to go north on Route 53 must turn into on coming traffic. The city of Joliet and the Illinois Department of Transportation have expressed concerns for the safety at the interchange at Interstate 80 and Route 53. Many times truck traffic backs up on I-80 waiting to exit on to Route 53.

When the intermodal projects where being planned and developed in Elwood and Joliet, local officials were told the only access to the two intermodals would be from Interstate 55 by way of the widened and improved Arsenal Road. The new interchange at Arsenal Road and I-55 was built to handle that traffic. Joliet itself has installed engineering designs and weight restrictions to route trucks to I-55.

This situation shows how important the proposed bridge over the Des Plaines River and a new improved interchange at I-80 are to providing direct access to the intermodals.

Tim Vanderhyden

Jackson Township Supervisor