Officials: Lockport St. Bypass Could Prevent Downtown Plainfield Gridlock

Study will investigate potential routes for diverting traffic away from downtown if the I-55 interchange is built.

Village officials want to make sure that a proposed Interstate 55 interchange at Lockport Street doesn’t bring even more traffic to an already-congested downtown Plainfield.

On Monday, trustees signed off on a plan to pay Joliet-based engineering firm Strand Associates more than $93,000 to explore the possibility of a Lockport Street bypass.

In a memo to the board, Superintendent of Public Improvements Randy Jessen said the feasibility study will take a look at several potential routes to build a new road between Lockport Street and Route 126 and the proposed 143rd Street extension.

Read: Village: Noise Study Approval is ‘Definitely Progress’ on 143rd St. Extension

“It would be just west of Four Seasons Park, and there would be a new road that would connect Lockport Street and extend north to Route 126,” Persons explained.

“It would take some of the cut-through traffic that we get in the downtown area and in the historic area,” he said. “It would also take the truck traffic off of Lockport Street.”

Jessen said the project is needed to prepare for two proposed I-55 interchange projects, which include the new Lockport Street interchange and completion of the I-55 interchange at Route 126/Essington Road.

“It is prudent that this study be completed at this time, in order to be included as part of the decision-making process for the proposed I-55 interchange improvements,” Jessen said in the memo.

Consulting firm V3 Companies is scheduled to give village officials an update on the status of the interchange projects at the Feb. 11 Committee of the Whole meeting. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Village Hall.

Persons said the Lockport Street feasibility study will be completed by August. It will then be submitted for IDOT approval so that it can be incorporated into the I-55 interchange plans. While there are currently no plans to begin construction on the projects, they have been in the works for several years, with Plainfield, Romeoville and Bolingbrook joining forces to help fund phase one engineering.

Under the contract approved Monday, the village will pay Strand Associates an amount not to exceed $93,450.47.

“Plainfield feels pretty strongly that it has to be a component of the interchange at Lockport/Airport Road,” Persons said, adding that failure to consider the additional traffic the interchange could bring to the area “is not fair to the residents of downtown.”

Click here to view the project website for the proposed I-55 interchange improvements.

Mesut Tepebas February 07, 2013 at 02:27 AM
If the 143rd extension is not built this is a road to nowhere and is waste of money. Only if the extension is built this bypass makes sense. One of the finalist alternatives for the I-55 interchange is an overpass on 143rd street over I-55 connecting to Taylor Rd. If that's the finalist this bypass would not be a primary investment target anymore.
Melonie Judd February 07, 2013 at 03:50 PM
It's already a parking lot and takes a lot of time to get through downtown Plainfield. I think its a great idea. We do need more interchanges for the amount of traffic that is on 55 and the grid lock on Weber and then Rt 126 exits. It would not be prudent to funnel more traffic into downtown Plainfield.
Sheila Raddatz February 08, 2013 at 01:35 AM
Mixed blessing! If the traffic moves too swift, they won't stop to patronize local businesses--especially if there isn't any major draw to the area. :o(


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