Road improvement project planned for 143rd Street in Plainfield

By Madhu Mayer | 12/23/2020, 6 a.m.
A new road soon to go through Plainfield is expected to alleviate truck traffic in a portion of Will County. ...
This aerial map shows a portion of the planned improvement for 143rd Street in Plainfield.

A new road soon to go through Plainfield is expected to alleviate truck traffic in a portion of Will County.

Following nearly three decades of meetings and negotiations, the Village of Plainfield is proceeding with land acquisition on a road improvement project on 143rd Street on the east side of town.

The Plainfield Village Board Monday signed an agreement for federal participation with the with the Illinois Department of Transportation regarding property acquisition along the proposed 143rd Street East extension located between Route 59 and Route 126. The agreement is intended to address the purchase of 11 parcels that are adjacent to Route 59 and Route 126.

Allen Persons, public works director for the village, said Plainfield has already received three grants for the project. They are federal/state Surface Transportation Program fund for $4.5 million; Illinois Competitive Freight Fund for $20.3 million; and the federal/state Shared Surface Transportation Fund for $17.18 million. The village is planning to use $5,446,400 of the federal grant funding for property acquisitions.

Persons said the goal of the project is to provide alternate routes within Plainfield to alleviate traffic congestion. The additional crossing over the DuPage River will allow quicker and more convenient access between Route 59 and Route 126 while reducing truck traffic in the downtown area. When combined with the western extension of 143rd Street, this agreement will complete the entire corridor between Ridge Road and Route 126.

The board on Monday also signed the preliminary engineering services agreement for $2.6 million.

The western extension of 143rd Street will be completed by developer obligations and the village. As part of the overall project, a traffic signal will be installed at Meadow Lane and potentially at Ridge Road.

Future project costs for the extension is estimated around $59 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 would be the responsibility of the Village of Plainfield. But Persons said the actual cost won't be known until the construction is bid.

Persons said other grants will be pursued to minimize the amount of money will have to fund to subsidize the project. Money for the project will be funded through the capital improvement fund and will be split over multiple fiscal years. One acquisition is complete, which, according to Persons, could take a year or longer, it is possible construction could actually begin in 2022. Bidding process will start in fall 2021.

Simon Maloney of Plainfield, who lives on Renwick Road near Route 30, hopes the extension will ease traffic all around the area.

"I know people complain about traffic on Route 126, but getting onto northbound I-55 from Route 30 is also very bad during the rush hour," he said. "Just having the extension should help traffic all around Will County. Trucks are the worst because they are slow and take up so much space on roadways. This extension will take traffic off area roadways."