The Village of Plainfield had one more thing to be thankful for this Thanksgiving as plans for the 143rd Street extension inched forward.
A day before the holiday, village staff got word that the Illinois Department of Transportation had signed off on the latest noise study for the project, according to Randy Jessen, the village’s superintendent of public improvements.
The proposed project would extend 143rd Street from Route 126 so that it runs through to Route 59, allowing motorists to bypass heavily traveled downtown Plainfield.
According to Jessen, the noise study found that the increased traffic that will come with the extension would not be a “significant impact” on the surrounding area. The findings note that the decrease in decibels that would come from installing a sound barrier would be nominal compared with the additional cost.
However, Jessen noted that the village is willing to work with concerned homeowners to mitigate the project’s aesthetic impact by installing berms and landscaping.
Since the project was proposed, some residents have voiced concerns about the impact it could have on residents' quality of life, along with the effect on wildlife.
A page dedicated to the project on the village website calls the extension a “logical connection between Route 126 and Route 59,” adding, “as the village and the surrounding area has grown in population and industry over the last few years, the need for this project has grown as well. The increase in traffic has prompted the design work for the roadway to begin.”
Jessen said the approval of the noise study will allow the village to move forward with seeking phase 1 engineering approval from IDOT.
“This is definitely progress,” he said. The next step would be starting phase 2 engineering, including getting the project ready to go out to bid.
A bigger hurdle will be funding for the project, which Jessen estimated will cost $18 to $20 million. The village intends to pursue state and federal funding opportunities.
“It’s really more than the village can handle on its own,” he said.
The 143rd Street extension is among a list of “significant transportation projects” identified as the village works to update its transportation plan.
READ: GRANT WILL FUND TRANSPORTATION PLAN UPDATE
Residents can share their feedback on priority projects by submitting comments and photos at www.plainfieldtransportation.com.