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Plainfield road project moves forward

By Madhu Mayer – news@thetimesweekly.com | 3/21/2018, 11:37 a.m.
A road project that has been in the planning stages for a decade in the Village of Plainfield has taken ...
This map shows the starting point for the 143rd Street Extension, which will provide a road link between Route 59 and Essington Road, near Interstate 55.

A road project that has been in the planning stages for a decade in the Village of Plainfield has taken another step toward fruition.

The Plainfield Village Board directed staff to apply for the Illinois Competitive Freight Funding Program that will allow the 143rd Street extension from Route 59 to Route 126.

Scott Threewitt, lead engineer, said the Illinois Department of Transportation recently introduced the funding program which seeks to improve freight mobility by implementing the goals of the 2017 Illinois State Freight Plan through improved safety, efficiency and growing the economy. He said the state would receive $225 million of National Highway Freight Program funds in years 2016-2020 through the federal Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. IDOT, Threewitt said, will administer these funds to help local agencies improve freight mobility.

The purpose of the 143rd Street extension, he adds, is to provide alternate routes within the village to alleviate traffic congestion. The additional crossing over the DuPage River, he said, will allow quicker and more convenient access between Route 59 and Route 126/I-55.

Considering the cost of the extension, trustee Bill Lamb said the village should pursue all funding options.

"We have a big problem with trucks in the downtown area," said Lamb, alluding to the traffic on routes 59 and 126 that occur daily regardless of the time of day.

Future project costs for the extension are estimated at $34.4 million. The Illinois Competitive Freight Funding Program allows for a maximum of 80 percent of the project cost to be paid through the FAST federal program, meaning the remaining 20 percent, or $7 million, would be the responsibility of the Village of Plainfield.